The effects of workplace intervention program to manage work related musculoskeletal pain among poultry workers: A randomized controlled trial

Benjamaporn Hancharoenkul, Peanchai Khamwong, Ubon Pirunsan, Leonard Henry Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The prevalence rate of the work-related musculoskeletal pain (WMSP) among poultry slaughterhouse workers (PSW) has been reported in the shoulder, arm, and hand due to involvement of repetitive and forceful upper limb movements. An intervention program is needed to reduce the upper limb pain and improve upper limb functions among PSW.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of workplace intervention programs to rehabilitate WMSP among PSW
Materials and methods: A total of 48 participants (21 males and 27 females) who meet the inclusion criteria were recruited into the study. The participants were allocated in 2 groups: Workplace intervention group (WIG) (WIG, N=24; 10 males; 14 females) and Control group (CG, N=24; 11 males; 13 females). The WIG performed the exercise training with elastic resistance bands (ERB) and stretching exercises, for a period of eight weeks, and the CG did not perform any activity. The Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), shoulder reach flexibility test, active range of motion (AROM), the disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (KKU-DASH), and Thai Work Ability Index (Thai WAI) were used as outcome evaluations. The 2-way analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with repeated measures (group x time) were used for statistical analyses and the statistical significance was set at p  0.05.
Results: Approximately 79.1% (N=19) of the participants in WIG reported significantly decreased pain intensity of upper limb -3.06 (-0.83 to -5.4) in right side (p<0.01) and -1.96 (-1.6 to -5.6) in left side (p<0.01) after the 8-week intervention respectively. Meanwhile, shoulder flexibility in WIG significantly increased (p  0.001) around 3.55 cm. (0.67 to 8.20) in Rt. side and 5.61 cm. (2.0 to 10.67) in Lt. side. For AROM in WIG group, neck flexion, lateral neck flexion, neck rotation, and Lt. shoulder flexion significantly increased (p  0.05), as well as KKU-DASH and Thai WAI scores (p  0.001). There was no significant difference within-group in all variables in CG.
Conclusion: Workplace intervention program significantly reduced upper limb pain and increased upper limbs movement among PSW. The training programs also improved work ability reduced disability with upper extremity musculoskeletal conditions among PSW.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Associated Medical Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2023

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  • Musculoskeletal pain
  • Public health
  • Wellbeing
  • Occupational health
  • Physiotherapy
  • Poultry industry


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