269029 Musculoskeletal injuries in aging Mexican immigrant agricultural workers: Association with pain, disability and health-related quality of life

Monday, October 29, 2012

Margaret Weigel, PhD , Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Rodrigo Armijos, MD, ScD , Department of Public Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Oscar Beltran, MS, PhD Candidate , Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Doctoral Program, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Kathleen Curtis, PhD, PT , Department of Rehabilitative Sciences, College of Health Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX
Middle-aged and elderly individuals account for an increasing proportion of US migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFW). Aging is associated with functional and other changes which increase the risk for musculoskeletal and other injuries, pain, disability, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) especially for workers in physically demanding manual occupations but little is known these in aging MSFW. The study recruited 177 US-Mexico border MSFW (age 40-80 yrs). Data were collected on participant characteristics, self-reported musculoskeletal injury and health conditions, HRQOL (SF-36 physical and mental composite scales), lower extremity function (SPPB), knee osteoarthritis pain, stiffness, and dysfunction (WOMAC), shoulder pain and disability (SPADI). Most participants were male (93%), middle-aged (56 + 8.8 yrs), Mexican-born immigrants (96%). Many (81%) reported suffering at least one work-related musculoskeletal injury associated with pain for the prior 12-months. These persisted an average of 5-8 weeks depending on injury site. Two-thirds (67.8%) reported current persistent musculoskeletal injury; 51% had multiple concurrent injuries. Injured participants had higher WOMAC (P < 0.001) and SPADI (P< 0.001) scores than non-injured participants; 12% had WOMAC scores suggesting severe knee osteoarthritis requiring knee replacement surgery. SPPB strength (P=0.004) and balance (P=0.012) but not walking scores decreased with increasing injuries. Participants with multiple injuries had reduced HRQOL as measured by SF-36 physical (P < 0.0001) and mental composite (P < 0.0001) scores, controlling for covariates. The study findings confirmed that persistent muscular injuries were highly prevalent and associated with a significant pain, physical disability, and poorer physical and mental HRQOL.

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Discuss the impact of persistent musculoskeletal injuries on pain, disability and physical and mental health related quality of life in aging Mexican immigrant crop workers.

Keywords: Aging, Immigrants

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be ab abstract author on the content I am responsible for because I have more than two decades of experience conducting funded research on immigrant and other vulnerable populations in the United States, Ecuador, and Mexico.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.