Risk factors for shoulder disorders among French workers: prospective cohort study

Julie Bodin, Ronan Garlantézec, Alexis Descatha, Bradley Evanoff, Thierry Thomas, Yves Roquelaure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: Shoulder disorders are common in the working population. This longitudinal study aimed to explore the relationships between personal factors and occupational organisational, psychosocial, and biomechanical factors and the incidence of shoulder disorders. Methods: A total of 3710 workers in the Pays de la Loire region (Loire Valley area, France) were randomly included by their occupational physician in the Cosali cohort between 2002 and 2005. All workers completed a self-administered questionnaire about personal factors and work exposure, and using a standardised physical examination, occupational physicians diagnosed shoulder disorders. Between 2007 and 2010, 1611 workers were re-examined by their occupational physician. The 1,320 workers free of shoulder disorders at baseline were studied. A conceptual model was developed in which relationships between organisational, psychosocial, biomechanical, and personal factors at baseline and the incidence of shoulder disorders were assumed. Structural equation modelling was used to test the model. Results: Shoulder disorders were directly associated with biomechanical factors and age but not with psychosocial factors. However, skill discretion and psychological demand influenced shoulder disorders indirectly through biomechanical factors. Exposure to a work pace dependent on an automatic rate and to a work pace dependent on customers’ demands were associated with biomechanical and psychosocial factors, but not directly to shoulder disorders. Conclusions: This study identified the complex direct and indirect relationships between occupational factors and shoulder disorders. Our data confirmed our conceptual causation model: organisational and psychosocial factors were associated with biomechanical factors, while biomechanical factors were associated with the incidence of shoulder disorders.


  • Musculoskeletal
  • Occupational exposure
  • Shoulder disorder
  • Structural equation modelling
  • Work


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