Open Access Open Badges Research article

The relationship between health promoting resources and work participation in a sample reporting musculoskeletal pain from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, HUNT 3, Norway

Heidi Sivertsen1*, Monica Lillefjell13 and Geir Arild Espnes12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Social Work and Health Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim, Norway

2 Research Centre of Health Promotion and Resources, HIST/NTNU, Trondheim, Norway

3 Department of Occupational Therapy, Sør Trøndelag University College, HIST, Trondheim, Norway

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:100  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-100

Published: 19 March 2013



Musculoskeletal pain (MSP) is one of the most frequent causes of sick leave from work, and is a common and potentially disabling condition. This study is based on the salutogenic perspective and investigates the relationship between personal, social, and functional health resources and work participation in a population reporting MSP.


Analysis was performed on cross sectional data from the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study, HUNT 3, in Norway. The sample of n= 6702 was extracted from HUNT 3, including a total of N= 50807 participants. Self-reported health (SRH) and, personal, social, and functional resources were assessed by a questionnaire. Reported sick leave was collected by interview at the point of time when the data were collected, from October 2006 until June 2008.


Logistic regression analysis demonstrated statistically significant differences between the work group and sick leave group in self-rated health, work support, work control, work load, and feeling strong, and the model predicted 68% of the cases correctly. Females had a lower statistically significant probability (B= −.53) to be in the work group then men when suffering from MSP, with odds of 41%.


There was a statistically significant relationship between health promoting resources such as SRH, feeling strong, absence of neuroticism, work load, work control, and work participation in MSP population.

Musculoskeletal pain (MSP); Health promotion; Resources; Salutogenic; Work- participation