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Enfermería Global

On-line version ISSN 1695-6141


LEON GONZALEZ, Marta  and  FORNES VIVES, Joana. Psychological Stress and Musculoskeletal Problems: systematic Review. Enferm. glob. [online]. 2015, vol.14, n.38, pp.276-300. ISSN 1695-6141.

Objective: Analyze the epidemiological approach more used in the study of the relationship between psychological stress and musculoskeletal problems. Methodology: Bibliographic research with specific inclusion and exclusion criteria on PubMed / Medline, EBSCOhost and electronic journals from diverse disciplines following the recommendations of PRISMA standards. 2782 articles were extracted, of which 41 were selected for the revision. Results: More than 80% of the articles confirmed that maintained stress levels increase the risk of developing musculoskeletal symptoms, especially in the lower back and neck. Over 50% of the studies followed a transversal design, and 77% of them dealt with labour issues. The most vulnerable population were women working in civil service or white collars, and labour demands was the most described psychosocial stressor. Regarding measurement instruments, the most used were the Energy Stress Questionnaire, the Job Content Questionnaire, and the Standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. Conclusion: Studies on psychological stress and musculoskeletal problems had heterogeneous results and designs. The findings highlight multiple psychosocial stressors and body areas affected and there was little consensus on diagnosis and measuring instruments. Although there was an association between psychological stress and musculoskeletal problems, their causal relationships are unclear. Given the higher cost of this problem, it is necessary to develop more studies with designs and rigorous methodologies.

Keywords : Psychological stress; musculoskeletal symptoms; epidemiology; pain; muscle.

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