Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
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Surveys on minimum practical abilities required by nonspecialist occupational physicians in Japan
Masako NagataKoji MoriAsako IshikawaTomohisa Nagata
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2016 Volume 58 Issue 3 Pages 276-288

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Abstract

Objectives: This study aimed to identify the practical abilities required by nonspecialist occupational physicians and specify the priorities for training programs. Methods: A practical abilities list was developed through a focus group meeting of specialists. We created a survey questionnaire and asked three groups, namely, occupational physicians, occupational health nurses, and health officers, to rate the importance of each practical ability. Results: The mean scores for all 45 items were greater than 4, i.e., in the middle of the 7-point Likert scale, for all the three groups. The occupational physicians' responses had a correlation with the other groups' responses. However, there were differences with regard to some practical abilities between the three groups. Five practical abilities from the top quartile were marked "A" by all the three groups: "Submit opinions on fitness for duty and work accommodation on the basis of data from health examination," "Respect employee privacy," "Submit opinion on fitness for duty and work accommodation on the basis of data from face-to-face interviews with employees," "Submit opinions on fitness for duty and work accommodation on the basis of data from health surveillance," and "Implement face-to-face interviews for employees who have worked overtime and evaluate the subjects' conditions including mental and physical health status, degree of accumulated fatigue, and depression." Conclusions: This study resulted in a rank-ordered list of 45 practical abilities that are required by nonspecialist occupational physicians. This result may be useful to review and redesign the existing training program for nonspecialist occupational physicians.

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2016 by the Japan Society for Occupational Health
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