Πέμπτη, 8 Αυγούστου 2019

Occupational Health

A Comparison of Job Stress Models: Associations With Employee Well-Being, Absenteeism, Presenteeism, and Resulting Costs
imageObjective: This study investigates the associations between Effort–Reward–Imbalance (ERI), Overcommitment (OC), Job–Demand–Control (JDC), and Organizational Injustice (OIJ) with employee well-being, absenteeism, and presenteeism, as well as the costs incurred. Methods: Cross-sectional data from 1440 German pharmaceutical company employees assessing job stress, employee well-being, absenteeism, and presenteeism were used. Linear regression and interval regression analyses assessed separate and independent associations and sample-specific costs were estimated. Results: All four stressors were related to employee well-being, presenteeism, and absenteeism when analyzed separately. OIJ showed the strongest independent association with absenteeism (coef. = 0.89; P < 0.01), whereas OC was most strongly independently associated with lower well-being (coef. = −0.44; P < 0.01) and higher presenteeism (coef. = 0.28; P < 0.01). Absenteeism costs per employee/year were higher than presenteeism costs. Conclusions: Occupational health interventions reducing job stress will have strong potential for productivity raise and lower costs.

A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial to Evaluate HeadCoach: An Online Mental Health Training Program for Workplace Managers
imageObjective: Mental ill-health is now the leading cause of sickness absence and occupational incapacity in high-income countries. This study evaluated HeadCoach online manager training, designed to improve confidence, and managerial behaviors that create mentally healthy workplaces. Methods: A cluster randomized controlled trial was conducted comparing managers who received HeadCoach (N = 87) to waitlist control (N = 123). Managers' confidence and behavior were investigated at baseline, postintervention, and follow-up. Psychological distress of direct reports was evaluated. Results: Confidence significantly increased postintervention only; however, per-protocol analyses indicated a significant improvement for program completers compared with control at both time points. Responsive and preventive behaviors significantly improved. Psychological distress of direct reports remained unchanged. Conclusions: HeadCoach online mental health training is an effective and scalable way to improve managers' confidence and workplace practices around mental health. The impact on direct reports remains unknown.

Agricultural Exposures and Breast Cancer Among Latina in the San Joaquin Valley of California
imageObjective: The aim of this study was to assess the role of agricultural work, pesticide exposure, and age at first farm labor exposure in breast cancer (BC) risk among Hispanic women in Central California. Methods: A BC case control study was conducted. Latina BC cases were identified through the California Cancer Registry and controls were recruited. Both cases and controls completed a detailed questionnaire. Pesticide exposure data were obtained by linking the crops, work locations, and dates worked in specific farm jobs with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) Pesticide Use Reports (PUR). Results: Chemicals associated with BC risk included organophosphates, organochlorines, and a phthalimide, Captan. Age at first work in farm labor was younger in cases than controls (P = 0.03). Conclusions: Agricultural work may be associated with the increased BC risk in female Hispanic farm workers.

Workplace Interventions can Reduce Sickness Absence for Persons With Work-Related Neck and Upper Extremity Disorders: A One-Year Prospective Cohort Study
imageObjective: The objective of this study was to investigate whether workplace interventions are effective in reducing sickness absence in persons with work-related neck and upper extremity disorders and whether disorder improvement after intervention reduces sickness absence. Methods: This study was a prospective cohort study of workers with work-related neck pain or upper extremity disorders. Data were obtained from the Swedish "Work-related disorders" and "Work environment" surveys. Register data on sickness-absence 1 year after the surveys were made and obtained from the Swedish health insurance database. Results: A significant lower number of sickness-absence days were found for workers reporting improvement after intervention. Conclusion: The findings in this study suggest that workplace intervention can reduce sickness absence for workers with neck or upper extremity disorders only if the intervention improves the disorder. The interventions were most effective in reducing medium long sickness absence periods.

Respiratory Health Among Hand Pickers in Primary Coffee-Processing Factories of Ethiopia
imageObjective: The aim of this study was to assess chronic respiratory symptoms and lung function among female hand pickers. Methods: A total of 374 hand pickers exposed to coffee dust and 175 female controls from water bottling factories were included. The symptoms were assessed using a standardized questionnaire. Personal total dust exposure and lung function tests were performed. Results: Hand pickers experienced a higher dust exposure, displayed a higher prevalence ratio for cough [prevalence ratio (PR) = 3.0, 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.4 to 6.2] and work-related shortness of breath (PR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.1 to 5.6), and had a lower FEF25–75 than controls. Hand pickers without tables had a significantly higher prevalence ratio of cough with sputum (PR = 3.9, 95% CI: 1.6 to 9.5) and lower forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 second, and mean forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of the FVC than hand pickers with tables. Conclusion: Hand pickers show a range of adverse symptoms and lung function impairments that warrant efforts to improve working conditions.

Occupational Violence and PTSD-Symptoms: A Prospective Study on the Indirect Effects of Violence Through Time Pressure and Nontraumatic Strains in the Occupational Context
imageObjective: The aim of this study was to assess whether frequency of occupational violence (OV) affects posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms through nontraumatic strains in the occupational context. Methods: Twelve-month prospective survey data on 1763 Social educators were used. Path-analysis measured direct and indirect pathways of frequency of OV on PTSD through change in time pressure, change in burnout, change in sense of safety at work, and change in coping with regret in patient work. Results: Forty-two pct. of the variance in PTSD symptoms was predicted; F (20, 1541) = 36.8, P < 0.001, R2 = 0.42. Frequency of OV indirectly affected level of PTSD through all the mediators; estimated indirect effects = 0.14, 95% confidence interval 0.07 to 0.22. Conclusion: PTSD resulting from OV is not only a result of the violent acts themselves but is also caused by nontraumatic strains. It is essential to include the broader context of work environment factors in prevention of work-related PTSD.

Work Exposures and Musculoskeletal Disorders Among Railroad Maintenance-of-Way Workers
imageObjective: The aim of this study was to measure musculoskeletal disorders and occupational risk factors among railroad maintenance-of-way (MOW) workers. Methods: Four thousand eight hundred sixteen active, retired, and disabled members of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division (BMWED) completed a survey. Results: Compared with U.S. employed men, adjusting for age, race, and region, active male MOW workers were more likely to report "repeated lifting, pushing, pulling, or bending" at work (74.6% vs 46.9%), not enough staff (88.1% vs 65.2%), and a diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome (7.9% vs 3.6%). They were less likely to report management priority on workplace health and safety (59.37% vs 94.8%), ability to make job decisions on their own (68.4% vs 87.7%), and supervisor support (60.3% vs 90.8%) (all comparisons, P < 0.001). Conclusion: Prevention programs should address risk of musculoskeletal disorders and occupational hazards faced by MOW workers.

Health Risk Calculator: An Online, Interactive Tool to Estimate how Health Impacts Workers' Compensation Claim Incidence and Cost
imageObjective: The purpose of this paper is to describe and evaluate a web-based, educational Health Risk Calculator that communicates the value of investing in employee health and well-being for the prevention of work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Methods: We developed and evaluated the calculator following the RE-AIM framework. We assessed effectiveness via focus groups (n = 15) and a post-use survey (n = 33) and reach via website analytics. Results: We observed evidence for the calculator's usability, educational benefit, and encouragement of action to improve worker health and safety. Website analytics data demonstrated that we reached over 300 users equally in urban and rural areas within 3 months after launch. Conclusion: We urge researchers to consider the ways in which they can communicate their empirical research findings to their key stakeholders and to evaluate their communication efforts.

Assessment of Objective Symptoms of Depression in Occupational Health Examination
imageObjective: The aim of the study was to assess early symptoms of depression in regular occupational health examination using the objective measures based on electroencephalographic (EEG) signal analysis. Methods: The study was performed on 125 volunteer participants. The resting-state EEG signal was recorded for 7 minutes. The spectral asymmetry index (SASI) and Higuchi fractal dimension (HFD) were calculated in EEG channel Pz. Parallel, the participants were subjected to two psychological tests, observer-rated HAM-D and self-rated EST-Q-D. Results: The SASI revealed depressive symptoms for 64.8%, HFD for 55.2%, HAM-D for 44.8%, and EST-Q-D for 28.8% of participants. Combination of two different measures indicated depression symptoms up to 78.4% of participants. Conclusion: The results of this study confirm the feasibility of indication of early symptoms of depression applying EEG-based objective measures.

Sex Differences in Gulf War Illness: A Reanalysis of Data From the CDC Air Force Study Using CDC and Modified Kansas Case Definitions
imageObjective: Estimate and compare the prevalence of Gulf War Illness (GWI) in male and female Gulf War veterans using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and modified Kansas case definitions. Methods: Data from the landmark CDC Air Force Study of GW Air Force veterans is used. Results: Nearly half of the deployed veterans met the GWI CDC case definition compared with 14% of non-deployed veterans. Only 29% met the definition using the modified Kansas criteria compared with 8% of non-deployed veterans. Deployed veterans and female veterans exhibited significantly higher GWI risk. Female GW veterans had higher rates of severe and mild-to-moderate cases of GWI. Conclusion: Results suggest increased GWI rates based on CDC and modified Kansas criteria among deployed and female veterans. Further research is needed to examine the chronic health outcomes of female GW veterans independently.

Alexandros Sfakianakis
Anapafseos 5 . Agios Nikolaos
Crete.Greece.72100
2841026182
6948891480

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