Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between clinical decision for the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients and post-traumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) among healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: Japanese healthcare professionals were recruited. The survey was conducted from May 21 to June 18, 2021. PTSS was assessed by the Impact of Event Scale-Revised. Items about the experience of clinical decision for COVID-19 patients and other independent variables were originally developed from previous studies. Univariate and multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the association of independent variables and PTSS. Results: 515 (3.9%) healthcare professionals completed all questions. Among them, 172 (33.4%) had experienced clinical decision for COVID-19 patients. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that clinical decision for COVID-19 patients (B=3.32, 95% CI 1.41–5.24; p<0.01), as well as fear of getting a COVID-19 infection (B=2.15, 95% CI 0.32–3.98; p=0.02), were significantly associated with PTSS in the adjusted model. Conclusions: The study showed that clinical decision might be a very serious factor related to PTSS among healthcare professionals during the COVID-19. Clinical decision for patients with COVID-19 has a high experience rate and was considered to be a serious experience among healthcare professionals during the pandemic. As a countermeasure for the mental health of healthcare professionals during the COVID-19, it is important for healthcare professionals to take countermeasures for clinical decision for patients with COVID-19.
Objectives: In this study, we applied novel nasal filters to assess animal allergen exposure of veterinary staff during their normal daily routine. Methods: Rhinix nasal filters were worn during work by 94 employees at different veterinary practices and 18 employees at a research institute, who acted as controls representing an animal-free environment. Contact with animals and the activities performed were documented by the study participants using a short questionnaire. Major allergens of cats (Fel d 1), dogs (Can f 1), and domestic mites (DM) were measured using fluorescence enzyme immunoassays. Results: At the practices, Can f 1 was detected in 98%, Fel d 1 in 82%, and DM allergens in 39% of the samples. Allergens were also detected in some control samples (6% for Can f 1, 39% for Fel d 1, and 17% for DM) but in very low concentrations. There was a highly significant difference between allergen levels in veterinary workers who treated at least one cat or dog during the sampling period and those who did not (2.66 vs. 0.70 ng/filter for Can f 1 and 1.01 vs. 0.20 ng/filter for Fel d 1). The amount of sampled Fel d 1 increased significantly with increasing duration of contact with cats. This effect was not observed for Can f 1. Conclusions: The majority of veterinary workers are exposed to dog and cat allergens, even without direct contact with these animals. Rhinix nasal filters may be considered a simple and easily applicable method for monitoring personal allergen exposure.
Objectives: Generally, it is difficult for elderly patients with acquired brain injuries (ABI) to return to work (RTW). To assess whether elderly patients with ABI can return to their workplace, like working-age patients, we investigated medical and support records and compared the rates of RTW between the working-age and elderly groups. Methods: A prospective cohort study on RTW among inpatients with ABI was conducted. We collected the clinical data of inpatients who were admitted to the Department of Neurosurgery for acute treatment and participation in a health and employment support program; follow-ups were conducted after discharge. Participants with almost independent activities of daily living (ADL) were enrolled. A χ2 test was used to examine factors influencing RTW and successful RTW by groups stratified by white-collar and blue-collar occupations and hemiplegia. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate the RTW proportion curves. Results: The RTW rates were 74% for the working-age group and 89% for the elderly group (χ2 test, p=0.149); age was not a significant factor. Occupation type was the only significant factor for RTW (χ2 test, p=0.014). The RTW proportion curves of both the working age and elderly groups showed early RTW, and the elderly group had a significantly higher RTW profile than the working-age group (log-rank test, p<0.039). Almost all elderly participants were engaged in white-collar or less physical jobs, to which it is easy to return. Conclusions: In participants with almost independent ADL, the elderly group had a higher RTW rate than the working-age group.
Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence of Cognitive Attentional Syndrome (CAS) in the Hong Kong Chinese population with depression and to assess the psychometric properties of the translated Traditional Chinese version of the CAS-1 questionnaire. Method: The English version of the CAS-1 questionnaire was translated into Traditional Chinese for this study. Study participants with (N=64) and without (N=64) depression completed the Chinese version of the CAS-1 and the psychometric properties assessed. Results: The internal consistency of the total CAS-1 scores (α=0.704), metacognitive strategies (α=0.789) and metacognitive belief subscales (α=0.716) of the translated Chinese CAS-1 were found to be statistically acceptable. ANCOVA indicated a statistically significant difference between participants with depression and those without depression in CAS-1 total scores (F=4.574, p<0.035) and CAS-1 metacognitive strategies subscale (F=46.615, p<0.0001), treating education level and sex as covariates. Conclusion: The results support the use of the Traditional Chinese version of the CAS-1 questionnaire in clinical settings. In addition, the findings provide the first empirical evidence of the existence of CAS in Hong Kong people with depression.
Objectives: Predictive models for the onset of metabolic syndrome (MS) for people in their 30s are scarce. This study aimed to construct a highly accurate model to predict MS onset by 40 years of age and to identify important predictors of MS onset using health checkup data of Japanese employees aged between 30 and 35 years. Methods: The study included 6,048 Japanese employees aged 40 years who underwent periodic health examinations over 10 years. We developed predictive models for MS onset using machine learning methods, including random forest and logistic regression models. The variable importance of each explanatory variable was calculated to identify important predictors of MS onset for the random forest models. Results: Of 2,998 participants, 164 participants aged 30 and 180 of 4,045 participants aged 35 years developed MS by age 40 years. The random forest models have the highest predictive power (e.g., AU-ROC 0.867 for males aged 30) compared to the logistic regression models. In these models, diastolic blood pressure was the most important predictor of MS onset for males, while body mass index was the most important predictor for females. Conclusions: We created machine learning models to predict MS onset at the age of 40 years with high accuracy from health examination data obtained at the age of 30 or 35 years. Sex differences in important predictors of MS onset were shown by the variable importance indices of the random forest. Applying our model in routine healthcare management could provide early health interventions to prevent MS onset.
The Japan Society for Occupational Health (JSOH) recommends the Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) as reference values for preventing adverse health effects on workers caused by occupational exposure to chemical substances, continuous or intermittent noise, impulsive or impact noise, heat stress, cold stress, whole-body vibration, hand-arm vibration and time-varying electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields and ultraviolet and ionizing radiation.
Objectives: This study aimed to investigate the activities to support balancing treatment and the occupational life of employees provided by occupational health service organizations. We also aimed to collect suggestions from these organizations for improving support activities in enterprises. Methods: Questionnaires about support activities (status, required external support, collaborative external facilities) were sent to 121 occupational health service organizations in Japan in 2018. Completed questionnaires were collected from 76 organizations (Response rate: 63.0%). The organizations were categorized as small (fewer than 99 employees), medium (100–199 employees), and large (200 employees or more). Results: More than 20% of the organizations had already started to provide several kinds of support activities. There were no significant differences in the status of support activities by size of occupational health service organization. To promote support activities, the organizations required external support, like educational programs, for occupational health specialists (59.5%), staff in client enterprises or health insurers (50.0%), or managers in the organizations themselves (48.6%). The most common external facility for referral or cooperation was prefectural occupational health total support centers (40.0% for referral and 24.0% for cooperation). Conclusions: This study found that some occupational health service organizations have already started to provide support activities for their clients. To promote these support activities, more educational programs should be provided for occupational health specialists, managers within the organizations, and staff of their clients.
Objectives: This study aimed to identify career support systems for full-time occupational physicians in large companies in Japan with an established company-wide occupational health system. Methods: We conducted interviews with the supervising occupational physicians of target companies selected using the snowball sampling method and that met the inclusion criteria: (1) a company or corporate group with over 10,000 workers; (2) an assigned occupational physician who oversaw occupational physician services for the entire company; and (3) the company had more than 10 full-time occupational physicians. Results: We obtained responses from eight companies (six manufacturing and two railroad companies). All the companies had established a system to support expertise development of occupational physicians, give them greater responsibility, and follow their development in the company. Through the interviews, efforts of each company were described in the following four areas: (1) efforts of human resource development; (2) support for maintaining and improving expertise; (3) treatment in accordance with career stage; and (4) issues related to career support in companies. Conclusions: To provide high-quality, stable occupational health services to an entire company, it is necessary to create a situation where full-time staff can contribute for a long period and develop their careers in the process.
Objective: The purposes of this study were to (1) illustrate how remote workers engage with an employer-provided mindfulness meditation app in the workplace and (2) examine the relationship between workplace app engagement, team mindfulness, and psychological safety among remote workers. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was administered to employees within the United States who had received a subscription to Calm as part of their health benefits. Employees reported on three types of engagement with the Calm app in the context of the workplace — opportunities use to Calm together during the workday, using Calm with team members, and discussing Calm content with teams — and completed measures of team mindfulness and psychological safety. Fixed-effects regression models were used to assess effects of workplace app engagement on psychological safety and team mindfulness in remote workers. Results: Of 60,000 workers contacted, 801 employees completed the survey (1.3%) and 437 were full-time remote workers (0.7%). Only 20% of remote workers reported having opportunities to use Calm at work. Opportunities to use Calm at work was positively associated with team mindfulness (β=2.39, p=0.005) and psychological safety (β=1.85, p=0.005). Using Calm with team members was only significantly associated with team mindfulness (β=2.99, p=0.046) and discussing Calm with team members was only significantly associated with psychological safety (β=1.17, p=0.029). Conclusions: Creating opportunities for employees to engage with a mindfulness meditation app while at work may help foster team mindfulness and psychological safety, especially for remote workers. Considering the research limitations, future studies should investigate longitudinal relationships within workplace teams.
Objectives: There has been debate regarding the working conditions for employees of the Bangladesh readymade garment (RMG) industry since the 1980s. Little is known how the existing working conditions of the Bangladesh RMG sector impact workers’ health and overall wellbeing, which remains the key aim of this study. Methods: The study adopted a qualitative descriptive design. Twenty-seven RMG workers (female: 21, male: 6) were purposively recruited for focus groups (FGs) from both the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and non-EPZ factories located in Dhaka and Chattogram, the two largest cities in Bangladesh. FGs were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Inductive thematic analysis was performed to review the transcribed data and to identify themes. Results: The study identified that the existing working conditions impacted workers’ health and wellbeing severely. These conditions mainly comprise of inadequate workplace facilities (lack of pure drinking water, unavailability of qualified doctors, and fabricated signage of childcare facilities) and poor working environments (lack of hygienic practices, unavailability of safety equipment, sexual harassment, mandatory nights shifts, inappropriate sitting arrangements, and workplaces as death traps). All the female workers reported experience of verbal or sexual harassment at least once inside the factories also noted anxiety and feeling unsafe while working during night shifts. These conditions are presented within the socioeconomic conditions of Bangladesh. Conclusions: This study contributes to understanding the nexus between factory owners’ profit maximization mindset and workplace conditions in relation to workers’ health and wellbeing status. Strict monitoring of the workplace conditions of Bangladesh RMG factories is warranted.
Objective: To evaluate the employment outcomes and changes in cognitive and social functioning of people with mental disorders using an employment support program in collaboration with psychiatric day care and the public employment service. Methods: This was a prospective, open-label, single-arm preliminary study. The employment support program was conducted 6 hours at a time, five times per week for 3 months. Participants’ employment rates within 6 months after the program ended and competitive employment in supported employment service 1 year later were calculated. The brief assessment of cognition in schizophrenia (BACS), Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF), and Life Assessment Scale for the Mentally Ill (LASMI) were measured before and after the program. Results: Forty-one (74.5%) of the 55 participants worked within 6 months of completing the program. Of the 30 employees who had been working for 1 year, 23 (76.7%) had settled in the workplace, with an average of over 80 monthly working hours and more than ＄660 monthly income. BACS Composite score (p<0.01, r=0.68), GAF (p<0.01, r=0.47), LASMI daily living (p<0.01, r=0.44), interpersonal relations (p<0.01, r=0.55), Work (p<0.01, r=0.81), endurance and stability (p<0.01, r=0.65), and self-recognition (p<0.01, r=0.78) improved significantly after the program. Conclusion: Our study suggests that a high employment rate can be obtained by employment support in which psychiatric day care and the public employment service cooperate.
Objectives: Presenteeism refers to the condition of working while having health problems and can be one of the perspectives to assess the incompatibility between workers and their jobs. The purpose of this survey was to find out what kind of occupational health issues can be detected by occupational physicians’ interviews focusing on presenteeism. Methods: We conducted interviews with workers suffering from presenteeism in a food manufacturing company. The Work Functioning impairment scale (WFun) was used as the indicator of presenteeism. We discussed the occupational health issues and the necessity of additional interventions. Results: Thirty-nine workers with WFun score of 21 or higher were interviewed, and we have found nine cases in need of support. The workplace issues were structured into four categories: (i) health problems that are difficult to identify through health checkups, (ii) health problems missed by the stress check program, (iii) health problems caused by workload that cannot be identified by workplace patrols, and (iv) health problems that are not considered because they do not require support. Conclusions: We discovered new workplace issues by interviewing workers suffering from presenteeism.
Objectives: This study aims to clarify whether work engagement mediates the relationship between job resources (i.e., supervisor support, coworker support, and job control) and work-to-family positive spillover (WFPS) for home-visiting nursing staff. Methods: This cross-sectional study surveyed 15 male and 152 female participating home-visit nursing staff across 108 home-visit nursing stations in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan. In February 2019, each participant provided informed consent and sociodemographic information, and answered three scales, including the short-form version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale in Japanese, the Japanese version of the Survey Work-Home Interaction – Nijmegen (J-SWING), and the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ-22). We evaluated supervisor support, coworker support, and job control as job resources using the JCQ-22’s subscale. We then evaluated WFPS using the J-SWING’s subscale. The hypothesized model was then tested using structural equation modeling. Results: Job resources were positively related to work engagement among the home-visit nursing staff; in turn, work engagement was positively related to WFPS. Job resources had no significant relationship with WFPS. These results suggest that work engagement mediates the relationship between job resources and WFPS. Conclusions: This study found that job resources were not directly related to WFPS for home-visit nursing staff. However, work engagement mediated the relationship between job resources and WFPS.
Objectives: Health problems of truck drivers, including cardiovascular and major blood vessel diseases, have long been reported. This study aimed to collect vital signs of truck drivers while working by using commercial wearable devices and to determine the utility of the devices for occupational health. Methods: Wearable devices were attached and obtained data from 130 truck drivers working at a single company in Gunma Prefecture in 2020 for 3 continuous working days. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), heart rate (HR) and respiratory rate (RR) were monitored during working hours. The duration and proportion of time at which these parameters exceeded preset upper limits were calculated, as were the frequency and proportion of 10% and 20% increases from previous measurement points. Results: The average proportions of time during which SBP, HR, and RR exceeded their preset upper limits were 7.17%, 21.22% and 0.36%, respectively. Also, the average proportions of frequency during which SBP, HR and RR were ≥10% increased above previous measurement points were 5.97%, 12.66% and 11.83%, respectively. These results differed slightly from those obtained during regular health checkups. Health guidance should be provided to truck drivers with excess SBP, HR, and RR who were not identified on regular health checkups. Conclusions: Wearable devices may be useful in promoting the health conditions of truck drivers.