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Lundmark, R., Agrell, A., Simonsen Abildgaard, J., Wahlström, J. & Tafvelin, S. (2024). A joint training of healthcare line managers and health and safety representatives in facilitating occupational health interventions: a feasibility study protocol for the co-pilot project. Frontiers in Psychology, 15, Article ID 1340279.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A joint training of healthcare line managers and health and safety representatives in facilitating occupational health interventions: a feasibility study protocol for the co-pilot project
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2024 (English)In: Frontiers in Psychology, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 15, article id 1340279Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Healthcare employees are experiencing poor wellbeing at an increasing rate. The healthcare workforce is exposed to challenging tasks and a high work pace, a situation that worsened during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. In turn, exposure to these high demands contributes to poor health, increased turnover, reduced job satisfaction, reduced efficacy, and reduced patient satisfaction and safety. Therefore, it is imperative that we identify measures to mitigate this crisis. One piece of this puzzle is how to implement sustainable tools and processes to improve the work environment of healthcare organizations. In this paper, we present the study protocol for the outlining and piloting of a joint training for pairs of healthcare line managers and their associated health and safety representatives in a Swedish healthcare organization. The objective of the training is to aid and advance the implementation of interventions to improve the work environment at the unit level. Following recommendations in the literature, the training is based on a stepwise approach that considers the specific context and focuses on the involvement of employees in creating interventions based on their needs. A central component of the training is the development of the pairs’ collaboration in prioritizing, developing, implementing, and evaluating the interventions. The training is based on an on-the-job train-the-trainer approach in which participants are progressively trained during four workshops in the steps of a participatory intervention process. Between these workshops, the pairs follow the same progressive steps together with their employees to develop and implement interventions at their unit. The pilot will involve four pairs (i.e., eight participants) representing different parts and functions of the organization and will be conducted over a period of three months. We will use a mixed method design to evaluate preconditions, the process, and proximal transfer and implementation outcome factors of the training. The overall aim of the pilot is to appraise its feasibility and be able to adjust the training before a potential scale-up.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2024
Keywords
intervention, pilot study, study protocol, health care, participatory, on-job, line managers, health and safety representatives
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-225125 (URN)10.3389/fpsyg.2024.1340279 (DOI)001243931200001 ()38860038 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85195360385 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2024-05-28 Created: 2024-05-28 Last updated: 2024-06-18Bibliographically approved
Lindegård, A., Grimby-Ekman, A., Wahlström, J. & Gustafsson, E. (2024). Can biofeedback training in combination with ergonomic information reduce pain among young adult computer users with neck and upper extremity symptoms?: A randomized controlled intervention study. Applied Ergonomics, 114, Article ID 104155.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can biofeedback training in combination with ergonomic information reduce pain among young adult computer users with neck and upper extremity symptoms?: A randomized controlled intervention study
2024 (English)In: Applied Ergonomics, ISSN 0003-6870, E-ISSN 1872-9126, Vol. 114, article id 104155Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this randomized controlled study was to explore if an intervention with biofeedback training in combination with ergonomic discussions, could improve working technique and work postures, and reduce pain intensity and perceived exertion in young adult computer users with ongoing neck and upper extremity symptoms. 39 participants were divided into an intervention group and a control group. The intervention consisted of 4 sessions during a three-month period. Working technique, working postures, rated perceived exertion, pain intensity, and duration of computer use were measured at baseline and follow ups after 6 and 12 months. The intervention did not significantly improve working technique and working postures, nor reduce pain intensity and perceived exertion in the intervention group compared to the control group. However, there was a statistically significant reduction in reported pain intensity in the neck/shoulder for the whole group. Also, there was a trend that time spent with computer work without breaks was more reduced in the intervention group than in the control group.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2024
Keywords
Musculoskeletal disorders, Perceived exertion, Working technique
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health Physiotherapy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-215932 (URN)10.1016/j.apergo.2023.104155 (DOI)2-s2.0-85174540298 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare
Available from: 2023-11-02 Created: 2023-11-02 Last updated: 2023-11-02Bibliographically approved
Stjernbrandt, A., Pettersson, H., Vihlborg, P., Wahlström, J. & Lewis, C. A. (2024). Occupational exposure to whole-body vibration and neck pain in the Swedish general population. Ergonomics, 67(2), 136-147
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Occupational exposure to whole-body vibration and neck pain in the Swedish general population
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2024 (English)In: Ergonomics, ISSN 0014-0139, E-ISSN 1366-5847, Vol. 67, no 2, p. 136-147Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The primary aim of this study was to determine if occupational exposure to whole-body vibration (WBV) was associated with reporting neck pain. A cross-sectional study was conducted on a sample of the general population living in northern Sweden, aged 24-76 years. Data was retrieved through a digital survey that collected subjectively reported information on exposure to WBV and biomechanical exposures as well as neck pain. The study included 5,017 participants (response rate 44%). Neck pain was reported by 269 men (11.8%) and 536 women (20.2%). There was a statistically significant association between reporting occupational exposure to WBV half the time or more (adjusted OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.22-3.00) and reporting neck pain. In gender-stratified analyses, the same pattern was observed in men, while there were too few women to determine any association. We conclude that occupational exposure to whole-body vibration was associated with neck pain in men.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2024
Keywords
Neck pain, Sweden, ergonomics, occupational health, vibration
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-208386 (URN)10.1080/00140139.2023.2210792 (DOI)000985155500001 ()37161844 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85159142546 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Region Västerbotten, 967266Region Västerbotten, 967867Region Västerbotten, 979090Region Västerbotten, 980109Visare Norr, 939839Visare Norr, 968706
Available from: 2023-05-23 Created: 2023-05-23 Last updated: 2024-05-07Bibliographically approved
Stjernbrandt, A., Pettersson, H., Vihlborg, P., Höper, A. C., Aminoff, A., Wahlström, J. & Nilsson, T. (2024). Raynaud’s phenomenon in the feet of Arctic open-pit miners. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 83(1), Article ID 2295576.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Raynaud’s phenomenon in the feet of Arctic open-pit miners
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2024 (English)In: International Journal of Circumpolar Health, ISSN 1239-9736, E-ISSN 2242-3982, Vol. 83, no 1, article id 2295576Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The literature on Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) in the feet is scarce, especially in the occupational setting. The primary aim of our study was to investigate the occurrence of RP in the feet of miners. As part of the MineHealth project, written surveys and clinical examinations were completed by 260 Arctic open-pit miners working in northern Sweden and Norway (participation rate 53.6%). Data on RP were collected using standardised colour charts and questionnaire items. Clinical examination included assessing the perception of vibration and pain in both feet. There were eight women and three men who reported RP in the feet. Four also had RP in their hands but none acknowledged any first-degree relatives with the condition. Nine reported exposure to foot-transmitted vibration and one to hand-arm vibration. Seven showed signs of neurosensory injury in the feet. To conclude, the occurrence of RP in the feet of miners was 4.4%. Most cases with RP in the feet did not report the condition in the hands and were exposed to vibration transmitted directly to the feet. There were no reports of a hereditary component. Most cases with RP in the feet also had clinical findings suggestive of peripheral neuropathy in the feet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2024
Keywords
Cold climate, foot-transmitted vibration, mining, Norway, peripheral nervous system diseases, Raynaud Disease, Sweden, vibration, white toes, whole-body vibration
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-218867 (URN)10.1080/22423982.2023.2295576 (DOI)38109321 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85180384200 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2011-0494Region Västerbotten, 967266Region Västerbotten, 979090
Available from: 2024-01-05 Created: 2024-01-05 Last updated: 2024-01-05Bibliographically approved
Peyre-Costa, D., Stjernbrandt, A., Wahlström, J., Ikäheimo, T. M. & Höper, A. C. (2024). Self-reported exposure to dust and diesel exhaust, respiratory symptoms, and use of respiratory protective equipment among Arctic miners. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 83(1), Article ID 2343125.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-reported exposure to dust and diesel exhaust, respiratory symptoms, and use of respiratory protective equipment among Arctic miners
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2024 (English)In: International Journal of Circumpolar Health, ISSN 1239-9736, E-ISSN 2242-3982, Vol. 83, no 1, article id 2343125Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Arctic miners face significant risks from diesel exhaust and dust exposure, potentially leading to adverse respiratory health. Employers must limit harmful exposures, using personal protective equipment (PPE) as a last line of defense. This study explored the association between reported respiratory exposure and symptoms, and PPE training and usage. Data from the MineHealth study (2012–2014) included a total of 453 Arctic open pit miners in Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Participants answered questions on exposure to dust and diesel exhaust, respiratory symptoms, and PPE use, in addition to age, gender, BMI, smoking, and self-rated health. Estimated exposure to dust was common, reported by 91%, 80%, and 82% and that of diesel exhaust by 84%, 43%, and 47% of workers in Sweden, Finland, and Norway, respectively. Reported dust exposure was significantly related to respiratory symptoms (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3–3.7), diesel exposure increased the occurrence of wheezing (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.3–5.4). PPE use varied between the studied mines. Non-use was common and related to reduced visibility, wetness, skin irritation and fogging of the respiratory PPE. Future research should employ more precise exposure assessment, respiratory function as well as explore the reasons behind the non-compliance of PPE use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2024
Keywords
air pollutant, Arctic, open-pit mining, personal protective equipment, respiratory symptoms
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-223626 (URN)10.1080/22423982.2024.2343125 (DOI)38626426 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85190506069 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2011–0494
Available from: 2024-04-25 Created: 2024-04-25 Last updated: 2024-04-25Bibliographically approved
Schott, K. D., Kriebel, D., Sama, S. R., Buchholz, B. O., Järvholm, B. & Wahlström, J. (2023). A cohort study of retinal detachment among Swedish construction workers. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 49(7), 518-525
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A cohort study of retinal detachment among Swedish construction workers
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2023 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, ISSN 0355-3140, E-ISSN 1795-990X, Vol. 49, no 7, p. 518-525Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Retinal detachment (RD) has been associated with exposure to heavy lifting. Many occupations within the construction industry are likely to involve lifting tasks. We investigated the association between occupational heavy lifting and rhegmatogenous RD in a retrospective cohort study of Swedish construction workers.

Methods: We studied Swedish construction workers who participated in an industry-wide health and safety program from 1971 to 1993. Individual occupation codes were linked to a job exposure matrix, assigning intensity of exposure to heavy lifting to each worker. The Swedish National Patient Register was used to identify cases of RD that occurred during follow-up through the end of 2012. We used Poisson regression modeling to calculate incidence rates of RD associated with heavy lifting, age and other covariates. A subcohort of those age ≤25 years at enrollment was studied to reduce bias from missing exposure information from work prior to enrollment.

Results: Of 256 241 construction workers, 17% were classified with high exposure to heavy lifting in their occupation. Within the cohort, 1588 cases of RD were identified. Average exposure intensity of heavy lifting was not associated with risk of RD. However, RD risk increased with increasing cumulative exposure to heavy lifting, both in the full cohort and subcohort of those who were ≤25 years old at entry into the construction-worker cohort.

Conclusion: Construction workers' risk of RD appeared to increase with time spent exposed to heavy lifting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nordic Association of Occupational Safety and Health, 2023
Keywords
exertion, eye disease, manual labor, occupational disease, occupational exposure, Sweden
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-215720 (URN)10.5271/sjweh.4100 (DOI)001050242700001 ()37530817 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85173946440 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2023-11-09 Created: 2023-11-09 Last updated: 2023-11-09Bibliographically approved
Stjernbrandt, A., Johnsen, M., Liljelind, I., Aminoff, A., Wahlström, J., Höper, A. C., . . . Nilsson, T. (2023). Neurosensory and vascular symptoms and clinical findings in the hands of Arctic open-pit miners in Sweden and Norway: a descriptive study. International Journal of Circumpolar Health, 82(1), Article ID 2254916.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Neurosensory and vascular symptoms and clinical findings in the hands of Arctic open-pit miners in Sweden and Norway: a descriptive study
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2023 (English)In: International Journal of Circumpolar Health, ISSN 1239-9736, E-ISSN 2242-3982, Vol. 82, no 1, article id 2254916Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This cross-sectional study aimed to describe exposure to cold climate and hand-arm vibration (HAV) as well as neurosensory and vascular symptoms and clinical findings among open-pit Arctic miners. It was based on data from questionnaires and physical examinations, including 177 men and 75 women from two open-pit mines in Sweden and Norway (response rate 54%). Working outdoors or in an unheated building or machine for at least two hours per day was reported by 44% and HAV exposure of the same duration by 10%. Neurosensory symptoms (e.g. reduced perception of touch) in the hands were reported by 47% and Raynaud’s phenomenon by 14%. In brief conclusion, the study showed that Arctic miners were commonly exposed to both cold temperatures and HAV. They also reported a broad range of neurosensory and vascular symptoms in their hands and had abnormal clinical findings related to the symptoms. The results emphasise the need for additional preventive measures in this occupational setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023
Keywords
Cold climate, mining, Norway, peripheral nervous system diseases, Raynaud disease, Sweden, vibration
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-214258 (URN)10.1080/22423982.2023.2254916 (DOI)37669310 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85169663375 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2011-0494Region Västerbotten, 967266Region Västerbotten, 979090
Available from: 2023-09-13 Created: 2023-09-13 Last updated: 2023-09-13Bibliographically approved
Stjernbrandt, A., Pettersson, H., Wahlström, V., Wahlström, J. & Lewis, C. A. (2023). Occupational cold exposure is associated with upper extremity pain. Frontiers in Pain Research, 4, Article ID 1063599.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Occupational cold exposure is associated with upper extremity pain
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2023 (English)In: Frontiers in Pain Research, ISSN 2673-561X, Vol. 4, article id 1063599Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Occupational cold exposure is common in Sweden but potential impacts on musculoskeletal disorders have not been thoroughly investigated. The primary aim of this study was to determine the associations between occupational contact and ambient cooling in relation to pain in the upper extremity.

Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a digital survey was conducted on a population-based sample of women and men between 24 and 76 years of age, living in northern Sweden. Occupational cold exposure, heavy manual handling, work with vibrating tools as well as the presence of upper extremity pain at different sites were subjectively reported. Associations between exposure and outcome were evaluated using multiple binary logistic regression.

Results: The final study sample included 2,089 (54.4%) women and 1,754 men, with a mean age of 56 years. Hand pain was reported by 196 (5.2%), lower arm pain by 144 (3.8%), and upper arm pain by 451 (11.9%). Severe ambient cooling for more than half of the working time was statistically significantly associated with hand pain (OR: 2.30; 95% CI: 1.23–4.29) and upper arm pain (OR: 1.57; 95% CI: 1.00–2.47) but not lower arm pain (OR: 1.87; 95% CI: 0.96–3.65) after adjusting for gender, age, body mass index, current daily smoking, heavy manual handling, and work with vibrating tools.

Conclusions: Occupational cold exposure was statistically significantly associated with hand pain and upper arm pain. Therefore, occupational cold exposure should be recognized as a potential risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders in the upper extremity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media S.A., 2023
Keywords
cold exposure, lifting, ergonomics, occupational exposure, musculoskeletal pain, upper extremity, Sweden, occupational health
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-209356 (URN)10.3389/fpain.2023.1063599 (DOI)001002757700001 ()2-s2.0-85163643206 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Region Västerbotten, 646641Region Västerbotten, 834331Region Västerbotten, 939557Region Västerbotten, 967266Region Västerbotten, 967867Visare Norr, 939839Visare Norr, 968706
Available from: 2023-06-08 Created: 2023-06-08 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved
Lewis, C. A., Wahlström, J., Mukka, S., Liv, P., Järvholm, B. & Jackson, J. (2023). Surgery for subacromial impingement syndrome and occupational biomechanical risk factors in a 16-year prospective study among male construction workers. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 49(2), 156-163
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Surgery for subacromial impingement syndrome and occupational biomechanical risk factors in a 16-year prospective study among male construction workers
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2023 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, ISSN 0355-3140, E-ISSN 1795-990X, Vol. 49, no 2, p. 156-163Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the association between occupational biomechanical exposures and the occurrence of surgical treatment for subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS).

METHODS: A cohort of 220 295 male constructions workers who participated in a national occupational health surveillance program (1971-1993) were examined prospectively over a 16-year follow-up period (2001-2016) for surgically treated SIS. Worker job title, smoking status, height, weight, and age were registered on health examination. Job titles were mapped to 21 occupational groups based on tasks and training. A job exposure matrix (JEM) was developed with exposure estimates for each occupational group. Surgical cases were determined through linkage with the Swedish national in- and outpatient registers. Poisson regression was used to assess the relative risks (RR) for each biomechanical exposure.

RESULTS: The total incidence rate of surgically treated SIS over the 16-year observation period was 201.1 cases per 100 000 person-years. Increased risk was evident for workers exposed to upper-extremity loading (push/pull/lift) (RR 1.45-2.30), high hand grip force (RR 1.47-2.23), using handheld tools (RR 1.52-2.09), frequent work with hands above shoulders (RR 1.62-2.11), static work (RR 1.77-2.26), and hand-arm vibration (RR 1.78-2.13). There was an increased risk for SIS surgery for all occupational groups (construction trades) compared with white-collar workers (RR 1.56-2.61).

CONCLUSIONS: Occupational upper-extremity load and posture exposures were associated with increased risk for surgical treatment of SIS, which underlines the need for reducing workplace exposures and early symptom detection in highly exposed occupational groups.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Helsinki: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 2023
National Category
Orthopaedics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-201658 (URN)10.5271/sjweh.4075 (DOI)000902100200001 ()36504288 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85149053077 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2016-01016
Available from: 2022-12-13 Created: 2022-12-13 Last updated: 2023-05-25Bibliographically approved
Lewis, C. A., Stjernbrandt, A. & Wahlström, J. (2023). The association between cold exposure and musculoskeletal disorders: a prospective population-based study. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, 96, 65-575
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The association between cold exposure and musculoskeletal disorders: a prospective population-based study
2023 (English)In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 96, p. 65-575Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the association between occupational ambient cold exposure and neck–shoulder pain (NSP), low back pain (LBP), and radiating LBP.

Methods: The study cohort comprised of 3,843 working subjects in northern Sweden who answered a baseline (spring 2015) and a follow-up questionnaire (spring 2021). NSP, LBP, and radiating LBP were assessed in both surveys. Occupational cold exposure was assessed at baseline, on a whole number numerical rating scale (NRS) and categorized in quartiles. Binary logistic regression determined the association between cold exposure at baseline and incident NSP, LBP, and radiating LBP, adjusted for age, gender, body mass index, smoking, mental stress, and physical workload.

Results: There were statistically significant associations between high occupational ambient cold exposure (NRS 5–7 and NRS 8–10) and NSP (1.59; 95% CI 1.08–2.33 and OR 1.50; 95% CI 1.03–2.19); NRS 8–10 and LBP (OR 1.61; 95% CI 1.13–2.29); and NRS 5–7 and radiating LBP (OR 1.87; 95% CI 1.12–3.16). Gender-stratified analyses showed statistically significant associations between high occupational ambient cold exposure (NRS 5–7 and NRS 8–10) and NSP (OR 1.97; 95% CI 1.07–3.61 and OR 1.97; 95% CI 1.06–3.67) for men and between NRS 8–10 and LBP (OR 1.82; 95% CI 1.14–2.91) and NRS 5–7 and radiating LBP (OR 2.20; 95% CI 1.15–4.24) for women.

Conclusions: Occupational ambient cold exposure was associated with NSP, LBP, and radiating LBP, and should be recognised as a possible occupational risk factor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2023
Keywords
Cold climate, Low back pain, Neck pain, Occupational exposure, Radiculopathy, Sciatica
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-202583 (URN)10.1007/s00420-022-01949-2 (DOI)000906567700001 ()36592178 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-85145503818 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Region Västerbotten, 646641Region Västerbotten, 834331Region Västerbotten, 939557Region Västerbotten, 967266Region Västerbotten, 967867Visare Norr, 939839Visare Norr, 968706
Available from: 2023-01-12 Created: 2023-01-12 Last updated: 2023-07-14Bibliographically approved
Projects
Identifying causes of musculoskeletal disorders and the long-term consequences using Swedish registers [2016-01016_Forte]; Umeå University
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0002-2359-509x

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