Low back pain is one of the main causes of activity limitation and work absence across the world, leading to high social and economic burden on individuals, families, labour market and society. This is particularly true for older adults in working age and employed in sedentary and arduous/strenuous jobs, whose work conditions may influence negatively this health problem and lead to severe chronic low back pain condition. Other reported risk factors include low educational status, stress, anxiety, depression, job dissatisfaction, low levels of social support in the workplace and whole-body vibration. Pain management is one of the most neglected aspects of healthcare and people suffering from chronic low back pain are often left without specific information, guidance and care from healthcare systems. Alternative treatments for managing or decreasing the pain include physical therapy and exercises, but awareness and adherence by patients is quite low.
The main goal of the MY-RELIEF project is to enhance awareness of mature workers (55+ years) about the ways to monitor, limit and cope with chronic low back pain in all personal spheres (work, family, leisure etc.). We will develop an innovative health education to older adults working in sedentary or arduous/strenuous jobs for improving their knowledge and transversal skills about correct ergonomics, pain self-management and healthy behaviours to adopt for addressing the low back pain. These workers are usually excluded by accessing this information and learning from both healthcare systems and employers. Paradoxically, these workers face the most DEMANDING WORK SITUATIONS, being at the same time the most burdened group and the least trained one.
The MY-RELIEF project objectives are to:
1) DESIGN and DEVELOP an adult education package to promote the acquisition of awareness and transversal skills concerning ergonomics, pain self-management and health behaviour, stimulating critical and innovative thinking, intra-personal skills for self-discipline and organisational skills;
2) TEST the training package with an appropriate number of end-users (mature workers with low back pain) in five European Union (EU) countries;
3) FINALIZE the training package incorporating all feedbacks received from primary and secondary target groups;
4) DISSEMINATE and SCALE UP the intellectual outputs (IOs) at a wider EU level, ensuring the SUSTAINABILITY and EXPLOITATION of project results also in the long-term.