IRSST - Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail

Determinants of long-term disability in workers with low back pain participating in a rehabilitation program: Exploratory study of the role of the immune and endocrine systems


Work-related musculoskeletal disorders pose a major and costly problem for affected people as well as for all of society. This is primarily the case for non-specific low back pain, related to a long-term disability, which is impossible to diagnose. Several studies have demonstrated the importance of psychosocial factors in the onset and prognosis of musculoskeletal disorders, but few data exist on the physiological mechanisms that could explain such associations. In the case of other health problems (e.g., multiple sclerosis and inflammatory diseases), research has established the existence of links between certain physiological parameters and some psychosocial variables such as chronic stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety. This project is the continuation of a previous study on understanding the determinants of chronic disability, and aims to provide a better understanding of this phenomenon in the case of non-specific low back pain by exploring the relationship between psychological factors (pain, disability and distress) and the response of the immune and endocrine systems. It will test the hypothesis that major stress factors, including low back pain, weaken the body’s defenses, making it more vulnerable to disability following an injury.

Additional Information

Type: Project
Number: 0099-7380
Status: Completed
Year of completion: 2011
Research Field: Occupational Rehabilitation
  • Manon Truchon (Institut de réadaptation en déficience physique de Québec)
  • Marc Pouliot (Université Laval)
  • Marie-Ève Schmouth (Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche réadaptation et intégration sociale)
  • Marie-Michelle Gouin (Université Laval)
  • Ginette Truchon (IRSST)