Objective: The purpose of this study is to investigate how multisite pain, depressive symptoms and disturbed sleep are associated with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and work ability index (WAI) in health care workers with recurrent non-specific low back pain (LBP).
Methods: 219 female health care workers suffering from recurrent non-specific LBP were recruited for the study. Multisite pain (three or more pain sites with pain intensity of 4 or more on the numeric rating scale), depressive symptoms [modified Finnish version of the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ─9-mFIN)], disturbed sleep, HRQoL (RAND-36) and WAI short form were assessed by validated questionnaires.
Results: Depressive symptoms and disturbed sleep were significantly associated with mental HRQoL and WAI (p<0.001). Multisite pain was only significantly associated with physical HRQoL. Of the mental subscales of HRQoL, social functioning, vitality and mental health were significantly associated with depressive symptoms and disturbed sleep (p< 0.001). Of the physical subscales of HRQoL, general health, bodily pain and physical functioning were significantly associated with multisite pain (p<0.05).
Conclusion: In female health care workers with recurrent non-specific LBP and currently able to work, depressive symptoms and disturbed sleep were associated with decreased self-reported work ability.