Online Program

Hispanic Construction Workers Working in Chronic Musculoskeletal Knee Pain: Evidence from the Protecting Every Construction worker Knee (PECK) Pilot Study

Monday, November 2, 2015

Samuel R. Huntley, BS, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Oscar E. Arias, MD, ScD, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Jonathan and Karin Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Kristopher L. Arheart, Ed.D., Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Biostatistics, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, DO, PhD, MPH, CPH, Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Background/Purpose: Studies suggest that fear of job loss and worker tolerance of occupational hazards inherent to the worksite contribute to underreporting of injuries and musculoskeletal disorders, particularly among minority worker groups. Despite the growing proportion of the Hispanic construction workforce, little is known of the socio-demographic and workplace characteristics that contribute to reporting of chronic knee pain among Hispanic workers. We assessed correlates of self-reported knee pain among an ethnically heterogeneous sample of construction workers.

Methods: Commercial construction workers (n=240) completed the PECK study brief survey instrument in Summer 2013. Our primary outcome measure was self-reported knee pain or aching in the past three months (chronic pain). Logistic regression modeling was used to evaluate the relationship between knee pain and Hispanic ethnicity, while controlling for: age, gender, race, body-mass-index, number of anatomical pain locations in the past three months, number of workplace injuries in the past month, number of hours worked per week, and union membership status.

Results/Outcomes: Out of all surveyed workers, 59.6% self-identified as Hispanic, of which 66.0% reported chronic knee pain. Construction workers were significantly more likely to report knee pain who: were Hispanic (Odds Ratio: 3.47; 95% CI [1.13–10.63]), reported multisite (2+) chronic pain (8.99;[2.45-32.98]), or reported one injury in the past month (6.54;[2.14-19.92]). Black workers were significantly less likely to report knee pain (0.11;[0.02-.074]).

Conclusion: Contrary to prior scientific evidence, Hispanic workers in the PECK study reported more chronic knee pain than non-Hispanic workers, indicating that further research is necessary to evaluate factors influencing report of musculoskeletal pain.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Diversity and culture
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Compare the amount of self-reported knee pain between Hispanics and non-Hispanics in a sample of construction workers. Evaluate socio-demographic, health, and occupational factors relevant to reporting of knee pain.

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety, Workplace

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am concurrently working towards a Masters of Public Health degree and a Doctorate in Allopathic Medicine. My lifelong passion for musculoskeletal health is shown by my past work as a personal trainer, swim coach, and current research in orthopedics. My future career plans include obtaining a Doctorate of Philosophy in Epidemiology and completing an Orthopedic Surgery residency, after which I plan to perform research in socio-demographic and environmental factors related to musculoskeletal disorders.
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.