An assessment of the work ability, disability and quality of life of working people of pre-retirement and retirement age in Poland – a cross-sectional pilot study
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Medical College of Rzeszow University, Rzeszów, Poland (Institute of Health Sciences)
Online publication date: 2020-11-12
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Agnieszka Ćwirlej-Sozańska   

Medical College of Rzeszow University, Institute of Health Sciences, Warzywna 1A, 35-310 Rzeszów, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(1):69-85
Objectives: The aim of this work was to assess the work ability, health status, disability and quality of life of working people of pre-retirement and retirement age, as well as to analyze factors affecting the ability to perform work in older age. Material and Methods: A cross-sectional pilot study was conducted in the Podkarpackie and Świętokrzyskie voivodeships, Poland, in randomly selected workplaces of intellectual nature. It was carried out by means of direct interviews in the workplace of the surveyed people, using the Work Ability Index, a questionnaire based on the WHO Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0, the WHO Quality of Life-BREF questionnaire, the Geriatric Depression Scale, and the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS). The criteria for inclusion were: age 55–75 years and informed consent to participate in the study. Overall, 201 complete questionnaires were included in the analysis. Demographic data is presented using descriptive statistics measurements. The logistic regression model was used to identify factors related to work ability. Results: The vast majority (69.66%) of employees performing intellectual work had moderate or poor work ability. The average level of general disability in the studied group was mild (20.65), and the quality of life was quite good (64.73). A significant problem among the surveyed people was a quite high average level of pain (VAS = 3.99), the occurrence of depression (73.63%), as well as musculoskeletal (64.18%) and cardiovascular diseases (52.24%). The most important factor contributing to a better work ability was the adaptation of the workplace to functional and healthrelated needs (OR = 7.79). Psychological well-being (OR = 1.12), cognitive performance (OR = 0.97) and a smaller number of chronic diseases (OR = 0.58) were also important factors. Conclusions: Preparation of elderly people for professional activity should be conducted in 2 different ways, i.e., by means of education and implementation of an active, healthy lifestyle, and increasing control over one’s own health and factors determining it, as well as by the proper organization of working space, and quick access to treatment and rehabilitation, especially in the case of musculoskeletal and cardiovascular diseases. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2021;34(1):69–85
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