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Are difficulties perceiving and expressing emotions associated with low-back pain? The relationship between lack of emotional awareness (alexithymia) and 12-month prevalence of low-back pain in 1180 urban public transit operators.

Authors
Mehling-WE; Krause-N
Source
J Psychosom Res 2005 Jan; 58(1):73-81
NIOSHTIC No.
20028872
Abstract
To assess the association of alexithymia (deficit in emotional awareness) with 12-month prevalence of low back pain (LBP) cross-sectionally in a cohort study of 1180 San Francisco transit operators. Alexithymia was measured by the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). LBP was assessed in medical histories during drivers relicensing exams. Multivariate logistic regression analyses controlled for demographic, behavioral (smoking, alcohol, coping style), and physical and psychosocial job factors measured by questionnaire and interview. Of all the drivers, 31.4% suffered from LBP. Scoring in the upper quartile of alexithymia summary scores was associated with twofold higher odds of LBP (adjusted odds ratio=2.00, 95% confidence interval: 1.31-3.00). The association was stronger in women (adj. OR=4.35) than in men (adj. OR=1.83). The factor "difficulty identifying feelings" showed the strongest association with LBP (adj. OR=2.23). The results support an association between alexithymia and LBP.
Keywords
Back-injuries; Workers; Worker-health; Drivers; Questionnaires; Behavior-patterns; Job-analysis; Demographic-characteristics; Sex-factors; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Psychological-factors; Psychological-effects
Contact
Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of California-San Francisco, Campus Box 1726, 1701 Divisadero, #150, San Francisco, CA 94143-1726, USA
CODEN
JPCRAT
Publication Date
20050101
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
593126
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2005
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-003604
Issue of Publication
1
ISSN
0022-3999
Source Name
Journal of Psychosomatic Research
State
CA
Performing Organization
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital, University of California - San Francisco, San Francisco, California
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