Objective: To review published studies to assess the effects of supervisor training on the mental health of subordinate workers, and thereby develop an evidence-based guideline for supervisor training in promoting workers’ mental health. Method: Seven studies that assessed the effect of supervisor training, whose outcomes included psychological stress responses of (subordinate) employees, were retrieved for assessment from PubMed, the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, the Web of Science, and Ichushi-Web. An additional five studies were also reviewed for discussion on the content and types of training. Results: Providing supervisors with necessary skills and information on mental health, including relevant occupational stressors, has a favorable effect on workersí mental health, at least in the short term. The subject populations had a background of requiring mental health measures. The effect of the training varied depending on the participation rate of supervisors, suggesting that the overall effect on an organization may be limited without a certain extent of participation by supervisors. There is no evidence of a long-term (over 1 yr) effect of supervisor training, and the effect of education on the supervisorsí knowledge and behavior tends to be lost after 6 mo. Conclusion: The current evidence indicates that the following items should be taken into consideration for the development of a guideline for supervisor training: identification of high-priority populations requiring education, development of a strategy to improve the participation rate in education, inclusion of occupational stressors as well as basic information in workplace mental health teaching materials, and regular repetition of the program.
Objectives: We sought to determine the within-session and between-session repeatability of vibrotactile perception threshold (VPT) measurements and the response patterns in VPT induced by acute exposure to short-term vibration from grasping a vibrating handle, at both glabrous and nonglabrous skin of fingers. Methods: Baseline VPT was recorded twice at glabrous and nonglabrous side of fingers in the right hand of eight healthy volunteers. Then, the subjects were exposed to three exposure conditions (vibration at 31.5 Hz and 250 Hz, and no vibration), from gripping a vertical handle by the right hand, conducted on 3 different days at an interval of 1-3 wk. After exposure, the subjects released the hand and further VPT measurements at each location were made. Results: Compared to the nonglabrous side, VPT measurements at the glabrous side demonstrated better within-session and between-session repeatability with lower coefficient of repeatability and higher intraclass correlation coefficient. After exposure, a significant increase in VPT was noted under both 31.5 Hz and 250 Hz (p<0.05-0.001) exposure conditions in the glabrous finger. In the nonglabrous finger, a pronounced increase in VPT was revealed under 250 Hz exposure condition (p=0.05). Conclusions: While measuring VPT at glabrous and/or nonglabrous fingers, the importance of the site of measurement should be considered; the repeatability for such measurements appears to be better at the glabrous site. At high frequency, vibrotactile perception appears to be affected in both glabrous and nonglabrous skin from acute vibration exposure.
Objectives: In a cohort study non-response might lead to a biased selection of cohort members and may affect the validity and reliability of the study outcome. To detect the possible effects of a non-response bias on study results, we evaluated the reasons for non-participation and the differences of respondents and non-respondents in a health surveillance program for power industry workers, formerly exposed to asbestos. Methods: A cohort of former power plant workers was formed to participate in an early detection program for lung cancer. We evaluated the results of 1,019 individuals (mean age 66 yr), of which 839 took part in at least one examination, 180 refused to participate or did not respond. To obtain the reasons for non-response, we interviewed the cohort members by telephone or we requested them by mail to complete and return a brief questionnaire. Further sources of information were the communal registration offices and local health offices. Results: The main reasons for non-participation were refusal (35%), illness (23.3%), death (16.7%) and difficulties with traveling (13.3%). It was impossible to make contact with or obtain an explanation from 11.7%. In a logistic regression model we demonstrated that advanced age and a long travel distance from the study center negatively affected the participation rate (p<0.001). There was no difference between respondents and non-respondents regarding prevalence (p=0.559) and incidence of lung cancer (p=0.882). Conclusion: We concluded that in our cohort non-participation did not cause a selection bias in terms of lung cancer rates.
Objective: This study aimed to assess the efficacy of a brief cognitive-behavioral program that was designed to reduce the work-related stress levels of secondary school teachers. Methods: A quasi-experimental design was used to compare the intervention groups with the wait-list control groups. Seventy teachers from the intervention groups and 54 from the control groups completed a set of validated scales at the baseline and 3-4 wk later. The scales included the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale-Form A, the Health-Promoting Lifestyle Profile II, and the Occupational Stress Inventory Revised Edition. Results: After controlling for the baseline measures, the intervention groups had significantly lower role stress, personal strain and overall work-related stress 3-4 wk after the baseline measurements. The intervention groups also had significantly higher stress management behaviors, and less general stress and dysfunctional thoughts than the control groups (all p≤0.05). The levels of dysfunctional thoughts and stress management behaviors significantly predicted general stress after intervention and personal resource deficits. The level of dysfunctional thoughts also predicted the personal strain of work-related stresses (all p<0.05). Conclusions: The brief program reported in this study was efficacious in reducing the work-related stress of secondary teachers. Teachers experienced less work-related stress after the program, and they reported reduced dysfunctional thoughts and enhanced stress management behaviors. This program may be considered as an initial strategy for teachers to develop skills to cope with their work-related stress in the short term and could be incorporated with other strategies to achieve longer-term effects.
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of a coping training program for the Chinese Special-Service Military Personnel (SSMP) as civil emergency responders. Methods: A parallel control trial was carried out in four special-service units (camps) stationed in Chongqing, China from Feb. 14th to May 30th, 2009. A total of 396 subjects were recruited and were randomly divided into an intervention group (n=201) and a control group (n=195) by clustering. Over the trial, participants in the intervention group received an additional coping-training program with 14 weekly two-hour sessions while the control group continued their normal work. Results: Of all 396 participants, 343 attended all the sessions and completed the given measures. In comparison to their own scores in coping strategies at pre-intervention, significant and positive changes were observed in the intervention group (n=176) at post-intervention. Except for the strategy of self-blaming, the coping strategies including problem-solving, help-seeking, avoidance, fantasy and rationalization were improved. The descending order of the absolute change values over the trial in 5 coping strategies was fantasy, help-seeking, avoidance, problem-solving and rationalization. In addition, most subscales of social support and self-consistency, as powerful predictors of coping strategies, changed significantly over the intervention, while these changes were not observed in the control group (n=167). Conclusions: With the combined use of modular contents and procedural methods, our intervention not only led to fewer choices of immature coping strategies like fantasy, escape and rationalization, but also raised the use of mature coping strategies such as problem-solving and help-seeking. Accordingly, the intervention will be very helpful for regular coping training of Special-Service Units, something which can be verified and generalized for the whole SSMP in a future study.
Objectives: Arsine, a potent hemolytic agent, is widely used in the semiconductor industry. We report a case of arsine poisoning confirmed by arsenic speciation analysis in serum and urine that occurred in a recycling factory. Case: A male worker in his twenties noticed hematuria 3 h after finishing work and was admitted into our hospital 34 h later. Speciation analysis of arsenics in serum and urine samples was performed using HPLC-ICP-MS. On admission, anemia, hematuria, and renal and liver dysfunction were observed. His clinical condition had improved remarkably after 5-days of transfusion and 4 units of RBC transfusion. The total arsenic content in the serum was 244.8 μg/l at admission and 97.1 μg/l at discharge. In the speciation analysis, four kinds of As compounds derived from arsine metabolism were detected in serum and urine. The concentrations of arsenite (AsIII), arsenate (AsV), monomethylarsonic acid (MMA) and dimethylarsinic acid (DMA) in serum at admission were 45.8, 5.2, 17.9 and 9.3 μg/l, respectively. The concentrations of AsIII, AsV and MMA decreased with biological half-lives (BHL) of 30.1, 43.0, and 96.3 h, respectively, while that of DMA was increased towards discharge. The urinary AsIII, AsV, MMA, and DMA concentrations at discharge were 384.5, 20.8, 547.4 and 1816.3 μg/g creatinine, respectively. These concentrations in urine subsequently decreased and their BHL was 15 days. Conclusion: The results of the present study suggest that arsine is quickly metabolized to AsIII and then metabolized via MMA to DMA in humans.