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Front. Neurol. | doi: 10.3389/fneur.2018.00968

Association of stress and musculoskeletal pain with poor sleep: Cross-sectional study among 3,600 hospital workers

 Jonas Vinstrup1, 2*, Markus D. Jakobsen1, Joaquin Calatayud1, 3,  Kenneth Jay4 and Lars L. Andersen1, 2
  • 1National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark
  • 2Department of Health Science and Technology, Aalborg University, Denmark
  • 3University of Valencia, Spain
  • 4Carrick Institute, United States

While acute stress and pain are part of our inherent survival mechanisms, persistent stress and pain can negatively impact health and well-being. This may also lead to poor sleep and thus a lack of recovery. This study investigated the influence of stress and musculoskeletal pain on sleep quality.
A total of 3,600 Danish hospital workers replied to a questionnaire about work and health. Pain intensity was evaluated using subjective values as an average of 9 body parts. Stress was assessed using the full version of Cohen´s Perceived Stress scale. Sleep quality was rated using 3 questions on sleep characteristics. Associations between stress and pain (mutually adjusted predictors) and sleep (outcome) were modelled using binary logistic regression controlling for gender, age, education, BMI and smoking.
The risk ratio of moderate stress (compared to no/low stress) on poor sleep was 1.27 (CI 1.26-1.29), whereas the risk ratio of high stress on poor sleep was 1.87 (CI 1.83-1.91). Similarly, for pain, the risk ratio of moderate pain (compared to no/low pain) on poor sleep was 1.18 (95% CI 1.16-1.19), whereas the risk ratio of a high pain score on poor sleep was 1.48 (95% CI 1.44-1.52).
This study demonstrates that both stress and musculoskeletal pain are associated with poor sleep among hospital workers. Hospital management should consider implementing strategies for preventing stress and musculoskeletal pain to improve the overall health and workability among hospital workers.

Keywords: Healthcare personnel (source: MeSH, NLM), Sleep, stress, Pain, Working environment

Received: 15 Aug 2018; Accepted: 29 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Lino Nobili, Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health, University of Genova, Italy

Reviewed by:

Axel Steiger, Max-Planck-Institut für Psychiatrie, Germany
Giancarlo Vanini, University of Michigan, United States
Sergio Garbarino, Department of Neurology, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, and Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI).  

Copyright: © 2018 Vinstrup, Jakobsen, Calatayud, Jay and Andersen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Jonas Vinstrup, National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark,