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Risk factors for the onset of non-specific neck pain: A systematic review

Klaber-Moffett, J.; McLean, S. M.; Sharp, D. M.; McLean, Sionnadh Mairi; May, Stephen; Klaber-Moffett, Jennifer; Sharp, Donald Macfie; Gardiner, Eric


J. Klaber-Moffett

S. M. McLean

D. M. Sharp

Sionnadh Mairi McLean

Stephen May

Jennifer Klaber-Moffett

Donald Macfie Sharp


Objective Neck pain is a common musculoskeletal disorder, but little is known about which individuals develop neck pain. This systematic review investigated factors that constitute a risk for the onset of non-specific neck pain. Design and setting A range of electronic databases and reference sections of relevant articles were searched to identify appropriate articles. Studies investigating risk factors for the onset of non-specific neck pain in asymptomatic populations were included. All studies were prospective with at least 1 year follow-up. Main results 14 independent cohort studies met the inclusion criteria for the review. Thirteen studies were assessed as high quality. Female gender, older age, high job demands, low social/work support, being an ex-smoker, a history of low back disorders and a history of neck disorders were linked to the development of non-specific neck pain. Conclusions Various clinical and sociodemographic risk factors were identified that have implications for occupational health and health policy. However, there was a lack of good-quality research investigating the predictive nature of many other variables.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jul 1, 2010
Journal Journal Of Epidemiology And Community Health
Print ISSN 0143-005X
Electronic ISSN 1470-2738
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 64
Issue 7
Pages 565-572
APA6 Citation McLean, S. M., May, S., Klaber-Moffett, J., Sharp, D. M., & Gardiner, E. (2010). Risk factors for the onset of non-specific neck pain: A systematic review. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 64(7), 565-572. doi:10.1136/jech.2009.090720
Keywords Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health; Epidemiology
Publisher URL