Table 2 Conclusions of review articles assessing the relationship between psychosocial work-related factors and back pain
ReviewWork demandLow work controlLow work supportLow job satisfaction
High†Low
Bongers et al, 199333++0+0
Ferguson & Marras, 199726‡+0+++
Lagerstrom et al, 1998310000
Hoogendoorn et al, 200029000++
Davis and Heaney, 200032+000+
Linton, 200127++0++
Hartvigsen et al, 200428¶0*
  • +, strong or moderate evidence; 0, insufficient/no evidence; 0*, evidence against an association; –, not considered.

  • †Includes “stress”.

  • ‡Associations considered positive if at least 50% of the studies presented in the review showed a positive association between psychosocial factors and back pain.

  • ¶This article considered 30 psychosocial variables grouped as: perception of work, organisational aspects of work, social support at work, and stress at work. Only social support at work maps sufficiently closely to the domains considered in the present study.