Walker-Bone, K, Storkey, H, Peacock, J, Ellis, B, Ly, M, Hill, JC and O’Malley, J (2022) Quantifying the population burden of musculoskeletal disorders, including impact on sickness absence: analysis of national Scottish data. Rheumatology Advances in Practice, 6 (2). ISSN 2514-1775

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Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) account for the greatest burden of years lived with disability globally. To prevent disability, good-quality services need to be commissioned, appropriate for local need. We analysed data collected systematically from a new musculoskeletal service serving 70% of the population of Scotland to evaluate: age- and sex-specific occurrence; anatomical distribution; and impact and effect on work ability.

A new centralized telephone-based triage for people with musculoskeletal disorders was set up in Scotland in 2015. Available to most of the population aged >16 years (>3 million people), data were collected systematically into a database detailing: anatomical site, nature of onset, duration, impact/risk (modified STarT score), deprivation level and, for those in employment, sickness absence.

Data were available from 219 314 new callers, 2015–18. Calls were more frequently from women (60%), increased with age until the eighth decade, and 66% reported symptoms that had been present for >6 weeks. Callers were more likely to be living in more deprived areas in each age band between 20 and 64 years and tended to have higher-impact symptoms. The majority (53%) of callers were in employment, and 19% of these were off sick because of their symptoms. Sickness absence was more common among those with highest impact/risk scores from deprived areas with more acute symptoms.

Large-scale systematic data collection for MSDs emphasizes the size and impact of the burden among adults aged >16 years. A socio-economic gradient is evident in terms of prevalence and impact of MSDs, particularly for sickness absence.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: musculoskeletal disorders, burden, systematic data, prevalence, sickness absence, deprivation
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 31 May 2022 16:04
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2022 12:40
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/10912

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