University of Oulu

Eveliina Heikkala, Petteri Oura, Olli Ruokolainen, Leena Ala-Mursula, Steven J Linton, Jaro Karppinen, The Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire-Short Form and 2-year follow-up of registered work disability, European Journal of Public Health, Volume 33, Issue 3, June 2023, Pages 442–447,

The Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire-Short Form and 2-year follow-up of registered work disability

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Author: Heikkala, Eveliina1,2,3; Oura, Petteri2,4; Ruokolainen, Olli1,2;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Population Health, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
3Wellbeing Services, County of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland
4Research Unit of Health Sciences and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Clinical Psychology, Center for Health and Medical Psychology, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden
6Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Oulu, Finland
7Rehabilitation Services of South Karelia Social and Health Care District, Lappeenranta, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
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Language: English
Published: Oxford University Press, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-11


Background: The Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire (ÖMPSQ) was developed to identify psychological and functioning-related risk factors among individuals with musculoskeletal pain at risk of work disability. This study aimed to examine whether the short version of the ÖMPSQ (ÖMPSQ-SF) can be used for this purpose, using registry-based outcomes.

Methods: The ÖMPSQ-SF was completed by the members of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 at the age of 46 years (baseline). These data were enriched with national registers, including information on sick leaves and disability pensions (indicators of work disability). The associations between the ÖMPSQ-SF categories (low-, medium- and high risk) and work disability over a 2-year follow-up were analysed using negative binomial regression and binary logistic regression models. We made adjustments for sex, baseline education level, weight status and smoking.

Results: Overall, 4063 participants provided full data. Of these, 90% belonged to the low-risk, 7% to the medium-risk and 3% to the high-risk group. Compared to the low-risk group, the high-risk group had a 7.5 [Wald 95% confidence interval (CI) 6.2–9.0] times higher number of sick leave days and 16.1 (95% CI 7.1–36.8) times higher odds of disability pension after adjustments in the 2-year follow-up.

Conclusions: Our study suggests that the ÖMPSQ-SF could be used for predicting registry-based work disability at midlife. Those allocated to the high-risk group seemed to have a particularly great need of early interventions to support their work ability.

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Series: European journal of public health
ISSN: 1101-1262
ISSN-E: 1464-360X
ISSN-L: 1101-1262
Volume: 33
Issue: 3
Pages: 442 - 447
DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckad079
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: NFBC1966 received financial support from University of Oulu Grant no. 24000692, Oulu University Hospital Grant no. 24301140 and ERDF European Regional Development Fund Grant no. 539/2010 A31592. None of the authors received any personal funding.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2023. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. 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.