Musculoskeletal disorders in self-employed construction workers: a qualitative study of the factors influencing the uptake and continuity of treatment
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The construction industry is the largest source of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), with self-employed construction workers at high risk as they are solely responsible for their health, safety and well-being at work. Globally MSDs are the second highest contributor to global disability and constitute a great burden to society. MSDs are treated by a broad range of interventions, at public and private care level. These forms of treatment include medical interventions, and alternative methods of treatment. This research explores the experiences and perceptions of eight male self-employed construction workers towards the treatment of their MSDs, a semi-structured questionnaire was employed at interview to gather data. Thematic analysis identified key themes from the interview transcripts these included: perceptions of MSDs, attitudes towards seeking assistance, pharmaceutical interventions, alternative therapies and barriers to treatment. The results illustrate the factors influencing the uptake and continuity of treatment, with the main factors being masculine behaviour, the effectiveness of treatment, the perceived barriers to treatment and the patient-provider relationship. Further research is recommended, to explore a larger sample of construction workers in order to confirm and explore the extent of these influencers on a generalisable scale
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