Psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal symptoms in a vulnerable working population in Nicaragua

Rahmat Bola Adejumo, The University of Texas School of Public Health


This research is a secondary data analysis of the CUPID-INCA Nicaragua study, a cross-sectional study comparing psychosocial and physical factors on musculoskeletal symptoms among nurses, office workers and maquiladoras in Nicaragua. There were three objectives for this thesis. (1) To describe the study population according to their socio-demographic, psychosocial (i.e. work organization and health beliefs) and physical factors. (2) To estimate the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the study population (nurses, office workers and maquilas). (3) To analyze and compare the trends of association between psychosocial factors and MSDs to that of physical factors and MSDs in the study population. Trends of association between MSDs and psychosocial factors were also compared between nurses, office workers and maquilas. Majority of the total study population were females, middle aged, non smokers and had been on the job for more than five years. Prevalence rates of low back pain and upper extremity pain were 28% and 37% respectively in nurses, 17% and 34% in office workers and 18% and 31% in maquilas. Workers' health belief was significantly associated with MSDs in all three occupational groups. Psychosocial factors were not consistently associated more with MSDs than physical factors. Maquilas had more psychosocial factors statistically significantly associated with musculoskeletal symptoms than nurses and office workers. The findings of this research suggest that both psychosocial and physical risk factors play a role on the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms in the three working populations in Nicaragua. Future research in this area should explore further, the risk of developing MSDs from workers' exposure to psychosocial factors as well as physical factors.

Subject Area

Occupational health|Public health|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Adejumo, Rahmat Bola, "Psychosocial factors and musculoskeletal symptoms in a vulnerable working population in Nicaragua" (2010). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1483026.