Education as a strategy for managing occupational-related musculoskeletal pain: A scoping review

Thorvaldur Skuli Palsson, Shellie Boudreau, Morten Høgh, Pablo Herrero, Pablo Bellosta-Lopez, Victor Domenech-Garcia, Francesco Langella, Nicolo Gagni, Steffan Wittrup Christensen, Morten Villumsen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background Musculoskeletal (MSK) pain is the primary contributor to disability worldwide. There is a growing consensus that MSK pain is a recurrent multifactorial condition underpinned by health and lifestyle factors. Studies suggest that education on work-related pain and individualised advice could be essential and effective for managing persistent MSK pain. Objective The objective of this scoping review was to map the existing educational resources for work-related MSK (WRMSK) pain, and the effects of implementing educational strategies in the workplace on managing WRMSK pain. Methods This scoping review assessed original studies that implemented and assessed education as a strategy to manage WMSK pain. Literature search strategies were developed using thesaurus headings (ie, MeSH and CINAHL headings) and free-text search including words related to MSK in an occupational setting. The search was carried out in PubMed, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and Web of Science in the period 12-14 February 2019. Results A total of 19 peer-reviewed articles were included and the study design, aim and outcomes were summarised. Of the 19 peer-reviewed articles, 10 randomised controlled trial (RCT) studies assessed the influence of education on work-related MSK pain. Many studies provided a limited description of the education material and assessed/used different methods of delivery. A majority of studies concluded education positively influences work-related MSK pain. Further, some studies reported additive effects of physical activity or ergonomic adjustments. Conclusions There is a gap in knowledge regarding the best content and delivery of education of material in the workplace. Although beneficial outcomes were reported, more RCT studies are required to determine the effects of education material as compared with other interventions, such as exercise or behavioural therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere032668
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 12 2020


  • eduction
  • pain management
  • work-related musculoskeletal pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Education as a strategy for managing occupational-related musculoskeletal pain: A scoping review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this