International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health

Quality of life and neck pain in nurses.

PMID 24839232


To investigate the association between neck pain and psychological stress in nurses. Nurses from the Avon Orthopaedic Centre completed 2 questionnaires: the Short Form-36 (SF-36) and 1 exploring neck pain and associated psychological stress. Thirty four nurses entered the study (68% response). Twelve (35.3%) had current neck pain, 13 (38.2%) reported neck pain within the past year and 9 (26.5%) had no neck pain. Subjects with current neck pain had significantly lower mental health (47.1 vs. 70.4; p = 0.002), physical health (60.8 vs. 76.8; p = 0.010) and overall SF-36 scores (56.8 vs. 74.9; p = 0.003). Five (41.7%) subjects with current neck pain and 5 (38.5%) subjects with neck pain in the previous year attributed it to psychological stress. Over 1/3 of nurses have symptomatic neck pain and significantly lower mental and physical health scores. Managing psychological stress may reduce neck pain, leading to improved quality of life for nurses, financial benefits for the NHS, and improved patient care.