, Volume 16, Issue 5, pp 904-913
Date: 26 Feb 2013

Musculoskeletal Injury, Functional Disability, and Health-Related Quality of Life in Aging Mexican Immigrant Farmworkers

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Migrant and seasonal farmworkers are at high risk for musculoskeletal and other occupational injuries. Although persons aged 40–80 years account for 40 % of all US farmworkers and as many as 50 % in certain regions, little is known about their occupational health issues. The current study examined work-related persistent musculoskeletal injuries (PMIs) and their association with clinical and functional indicators of disability and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in 177 middle-aged and elderly US–Mexico border farmworkers. At interview, 68 % reported current PMI pain; 51 % had pain at multiple sites. PMI pain was associated with increased shoulder, knee, and lower extremity dysfunction and reduced HRQOL scores. However, fewer than 25 % of injured participants received any conventional medical treatment. The study results indicated that work-related PMIs, especially multiple PMIs, caused significant functional impairment, disability, and poorer HRQOL, adversely affecting the ability of the aging farmworkers to perform work, self-care, and other daily activities.

An erratum to this article can be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10903-013-9819-3.