Pain Catastrophizing and Lower Physical Fitness in a Sample of Computer Screen Workers with Early Non-specific Upper Limb Disorders: A Case-control Study

Marjon D. F. Van Eijsden-Besseling*, Antomus Van Attekum, Rob A. De Bie, J. Bart Staal

*Corresponding author for this work

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In computer workers psychological factors and physical fitness may play an important role in the onset and course of non-specific work-related upper limb disorders (WRULD) beyond socio-demographic factors Based on our experiences in daily practice we assumed that pain catastrophizing and other psychological variables such as perfectionism, anxiety state and trait, and low physical fitness, are possibly associated with the occurrence of WRULD We aim to study the association between pain catastrophizing, perfectionism, anxiety (state and trait), physical fitness, sex and level of education and the occurrence of WRULD, controlling for age as a confounder Eighty-eight computer workers with early non-specific WRULD, who had been recruited for an intervention study, were compared with 31 healthy computer workers (controls) recruited from different departments of a university This cross-sectional case-control study examined the influence of aforementioned variables on WRULD by means of logistic regression analyses Among the different predictor variables investigated, pain catastrophzing (OR=1 37, 95%CI 117-1 59) and lower physical fitness had a positive relationship with WRULD (OR=0 65, 95% CI 048-0 87) According to this study, pain catastrophizing and lower physical fitness seem to be associated with early non specific WRULD in computer workers Prospective studies are needed to unravel these relationships
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-823
JournalIndustrial Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • Case-control study
  • Non-specific work related upper limb disorders
  • Pain catastrophizing
  • Physical fitness
  • Computer workers

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