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Impact of a Web-Based Stress Management and Health Promotion Program on Neck-Shoulder-Back Pain in Knowledge Workers? 12 Month Prospective Controlled Follow-Up

Schell, Elisabet MSc; Theorell, Tores MD, PhD; Hasson, Dan PhD; Arnetz, Bengt MD, PhD; Saraste, Helena MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 6 - p 667-676
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181757a0c
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the influence of a web-based stress management program on neck–shoulder–back pain and perceived pain-relatedness to stress in a prospective and controlled study.

Methods: Study points were baseline, after 6 months intervention and at 12 months follow-up on 226 news media employees in two study groups and one control group.

Results: Between groups no significant differences were found at any study point. Within groups, the study group with less intensive program improved in pain-relatedness to stress at follow-up. Between baseline and after intervention, the group with more intensive program showed decreased low back pain, and the control group showed less pain-relatedness to stress. Within group differences varied according to pain localization and were inconsistent.

Conclusion: Present web-based stress management program did not influence neck-shoulder-back pain or perceived pain-relatedness to stress in stress-intensive occupations.

From the Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery (Dr Schell and Dr Saraste), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, S-171 77 Sweden; Stress Research Institute (Dr Theorell), Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Neurotec (Dr Hasson), Karolinska Institutet, S-141 83 Huddinge, Sweden; Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences (Drs Hasson and Arnetz), Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala Science Park, S-75185 Uppsala, Sweden; and Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences (Dr Arnetz), Division of Occupational and Environmental Health, Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.

The study was approved by the Ethical Committees at Karolinska Institutet (Dnr 01-355) and at Uppsala University (Dnr 01-188). All participants signed an informed consent to their participation in the study.

Address correspondence to: Elisabet Schell, MSc, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, S-171 77 Sweden; E-mail:

Copyright © 2008 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine