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  • Halonen, Jaana; Lallukka, Tea; Virtanen, Marianna; Rod, Naja H.; Hanson, Linda L. Magnusson (2019)
    Objectives Bi-directional associations between perceived effort-reward imbalance (FRI) at work and neck-shoulder pain have been reported. There is also evidence of associations between ERI and depressive symptoms, and between depressive symptoms and pain while the links between ERI, depressive symptoms and pain have not been tested. We aimed to assess whether depressive symptoms mediate the association between ERI and neck-shoulder pain, as well as the association between neck-shoulder pain and ERI. Methods We used prospective data from three consecutive surveys of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) study. ERI was assessed with a short version of the ERI questionnaire, and pain was defined as having had neck-shoulder pain that affected daily life during the past three months. Depressive symptoms were assessed with a continuous scale based on six-items of the (Hopkins) Symptom Checklist. Counterfactual mediation analyses were applied using exposure measures from 2010/2012 (T1), depressive symptoms from 2012/2014 (T2), and outcomes from 2014/2016 (T3), and including only those free of outcome at T1 and T2 (N=2876-3239). Results ERI was associated with a higher risk of neck-shoulder pain [risk ratio (RR) for total effect 1.22, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00-1.48] and 41% of this total effect was mediated through depressive symptoms. Corresponding RR for association between neck-shoulder pain and ERI was 1.34 (95% CI 1.09-1.64), but the mediating role of depressive symptoms was less consistent. Conclusions Depressive symptoms appear to be an intermediate factor in the relationship between ERI and neck-shoulder pain.
  • Tiira, Katriina; Tikkanen, Antti; Vainio, Outi (2020)
    Working dogs are used for a range of important operational tasks. Identifying potentially successful working dogs as early as possible is important as rejection rates are high and training is costly. Earlier research has mainly concentrated on personality traits such as boldness, and there is only little knowledge on the possible association between cognitive traits and the actual working dog performance. This study investigated whether motor inhibition, persistence, problem-solving strategies, and spatial problem-solving are associated with explosive detection success in specially trained police dogs. Dogs (N = 24) were tested with a cognitive test battery, and subsequently they participated in an explosive detection test. The explosive searching situation and the location of the test was such that it would reflect as much as possible a real-life situation. Canine handlers also filled in a questionnaire regarding their dog's working behaviour. We found that those dogs that were more successful in explosive detection task had better motor inhibition in a cylinder task compared to dogs with lower success in an explosive search task. Furthermore, we found that dogs that made more errors in the cylinder task were generally more likely to give up searching sooner, as reported by their handlers, and also abandon sooner the problem-solving task in behavioural test. This study suggests that inhibitory control, specifically motor inhibition, may be an important aspect to consider when selecting suitable dogs for explosive detection tasks. Cylinder task is an easy and quick way to assess inhibitory control, although a larger dataset is needed to verify its association with working performance.
  • Hakala, Paula T.; Saarni, Lea A.; Punamäki, Raija-Leena; Wallenius, Marjut A.; Nygard, Clas-Hakan; Rimpela, Arja H. (2012)
    Background: Musculoskeletal symptoms among adolescents are related to the time spent using a computer, but little is known about the seriousness of the symptoms or how much they affect everyday life. The purpose of the present study was to examine the intensity of musculoskeletal pain and level of inconvenience to everyday life, in relation to time spent using a computer. Methods: In a survey, 436 school children (12 to 13 and 15 to 16 years of age), answered a questionnaire on musculoskeletal and computer-associated musculoskeletal symptoms in neck-shoulder, low back, head, eyes, hands, and fingers or wrists. Pain intensity (computer-associated symptoms) and inconvenience to everyday life (musculoskeletal symptoms) were measured using a visual analogue scale. Based on the frequency and intensity, three categories were formed to classify pain at each anatomic site: none, mild, and moderate/severe. The association with time spent using the computer was analyzed by multinomial logistic regression. Results: Moderate/severe pain intensity was most often reported in the neck-shoulders (21%); head (20%); and eyes (14%); and moderate/severe inconvenience to everyday life was most often reported due to head (29%), neck-shoulders (21%), and low back (16%) pain. Compared with those using the computer less than 3.6 hours/week, computer use of >= 14 hours/week, was associated with moderate/severe increase in computer-associated musculoskeletal pain at all anatomic sites (odds ratio [OR] = 2.9-4.4), and moderate/severe inconvenience to everyday life due to low back (OR = 2.5) and head (OR = 2.0) pain. Conclusions: Musculoskeletal symptoms causing moderate/severe pain and inconvenience to everyday life are common among adolescent computer users. Daily computer use of 2 hours or more increases the risk for pain at most anatomic sites.