4320.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - 9:00 PM

Abstract #4027

Utility of job analysis in evaluating chronic back pain

Peter Y. Chen, PhD and Ernest Volinn, PhD. Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health, 71 Frankland Road, Hopkinton, MA 01748, 508-435-9061 x 301, peter.chen@libertymutual.com

About one million in the U.S. report chronic inability to work or perform another major activity specifically because of back pain—and this number is increasing. Clearly, there is a pressing need to understand both how chronic back pain comes to be and how it may be most effectively treated. Conventional medical treatment provided by occupational health professionals, particularly given the current restrictions on time for office visits, may not be sufficient to alleviate chronic back pain. The presumption underlying this contention is that chronic back pain may result from a combination of factors, which include type of job held, physical exposures in the workplace, individual differences, and previous back pain. We describe two job analysis systems: Position Analysis Questionnaire and Occupational Information Network, Peterson (O*NET), both of which may provide insight into the etiology of chronic back pain. PAQ assumes there are underlying structures of human behaviors at work, which are categorized into 68 dimensions (e.g., physical hazards, handling devices, etc.). Job dimension scores are developed for each job so that comparisons among jobs can be made. O*NET, currently being developed by the Department of Labor, is a database describing characteristics and requirements of both the workers and the work. It eventually will replace the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. There have been some attempts at utilizing job analysis systems to examine physical symptoms other than back pain, such as stress or cardiovascular disease. Our work extends this line of inquiry to chronic back pain.

Learning Objectives: 1. Recognize major job dimensions that are related to chronic back pain. 2. Apply the job analysis databases. 3. Describe two job analysis systems

Keywords: Disability, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA