Pain characteristics and its influence in the labor activities in northeastern Brazilian farmers

Cristiano Barreto de Miranda, Isabela Freire Azevedo-Santos, Natália Lupinacci, José Aderval Aragão, Sheila Schneiberg


Introduction: Agricultural work is considered a dangerous activity with physical and mental stress. Pain is one of the most common disabilities among agricultural workers. Objective: To determine the incidence, intensity, characteristic of pain and its impact on labor activities in farmers. Methods: Transversal study, pain evaluations consist of: 1) presence / intensity; 2) characteristic of painful experience; 3) episode of pain in the last 30 days and 4) interference of pain at work. Validated and specific pain scales were used, and descriptive statistics were applied. Results: 157 rural farmers were recruited, 128 farmers, 40.4 (11.4) years, participated in the study, 25% of the farmers reported pain at the time of evaluation with mean of 5.5 (0.47) intensity. The predominant pain characteristic was the evaluative type (34%), followed by affective (30%), 83 (65%) of farmers reported pain in the last four weeks, and 60% of these farmers reported pain interference in work activity. Conclusion: Pain, according to farmers in this study, is the main cause of absence and poor performance at work. To accurately assess the intensity of work-related pain, instruments may need to be applied over a continuous period of time, preferably during work day.

Key-words: worker health, pain, pain assessment.

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