Comparison Between Musculoskeletal Pain and Gender-Specific, Non-gendered Job-Exposure Matrix and Self-reported Exposures in CONSTANCES

Francesca Wuytack, Bradley A. Evanoff, Ann Marie Dale, Fabien Gilbert, Marc Fadel, Annette Leclerc, Alexis Descatha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are common worldwide and gender differences exist in terms of prevalence and disability. MSDs are a leading cause of sick leave and physical work exposures. To assess the association between physical exposures assessed by the gender-specific CONSTANCES Job-Exposure Matrix (JEM) and musculoskeletal pain in six areas: neck pain, shoulder pain, elbow/arm pain, hand/wrist pain, low back pain, knee/leg pain; and to compare the results with those obtained using the non-gendered CONSTANCES JEM and with individual self-report exposures. Methods: We included 48,736 male and 63,326 female workers from the CONSTANCES cohort (France). The association between 27 physical exposures and musculoskeletal self-reported pain in six body areas was assessed using logistic regression. We conducted the analysis with three types of exposures: (1) individual self-reported exposures; (2) gender-specific CONSTANCES JEM; (3) non-gendered CONSTANCES JEM, and adjusted for age and Body Mass Index (BMI). Analyses were stratified by gender. Results: The associations to the gender-specific and non-gendered JEM were similar. The odds ratios using individual self-reported exposures were comparable to the JEM-based associations, with the exceptions of the exposures ‘change tasks’, ‘rest eyes’ and ‘reach behind’. In some comparisons, there were differences in the direction and/or significance of effects between genders (regardless of whether the JEM used was gender-specific or not). Conclusion: The gender-specific and non-gendered JEMs gave similar results, hence, developing physical work exposures JEMs that are gender-specific may not be essential. However, when predicting musculoskeletal pain, it seems relevant to stratify the analysis by gender.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Occupational Rehabilitation
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Elbow pain
  • Hand/wrist pain
  • Job exposures
  • Knee/leg pain
  • Low back pain
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Neck pain
  • Physical work exposures
  • Shoulder pain


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