Journal of Occupational Health
Online ISSN : 1348-9585
Print ISSN : 1341-9145
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Volume 59 , Issue 3
Showing 1-13 articles out of 13 articles from the selected issue
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Review
  • Cathal Ryan, Michael Bergin, Trudie Chalder, John SG Wells
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 215-236
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: March 17, 2017
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    Objectives: This review sought to determine what is currently known about the focus, form, and efficacy of web-based interventions that aim to support the well-being of workers and enable them to manage their work-related stress. Method: A scoping review of the literature as this relates to web-based interventions for the management of work-related stress and supporting the psychological well-being of workers was conducted. Results: Forty-eight web-based interventions were identified and reviewed, the majority of which (n = 37) were "individual" -focused and utilized cognitive-behavioral techniques, relaxation exercises, mindfulness, or cognitive behavior therapy. Most interventions identified were provided via a website (n = 34) and were atheoretical in nature. Conclusions: There is some low-to-moderate quality evidence that "individual" -focused interventions are effective for supporting employee well-being and managing their work-related stress. There are few web-based interventions that target "organizational" or "individual/organization" interface factors, and there is limited support for their efficacy. A clear gap appears to exist between work-stress theory and its application in the design and development of web-based interventions for the management of work-related stress.

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Originals
  • Kanami Tsuno, Norito Kawakami, Akihito Shimazu, Kyoko Shimada, Akiomi ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 237-246
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: March 09, 2017
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    Objectives: Although incivility is a common interpersonal mistreatment and associated with poor mental health, there are few studies about it in Asian countries. The aim of this study was to develop the Japanese version of the modified Work Incivility Scale (J-MWIS), investigate its reliability and validity, and reveal the prevalence of incivility among Japanese employees in comparison with data on Canadian employees. Methods: A total of 2,191 Japanese and 1,071 Canadian employees were surveyed, using either the J-MWIS or MWIS. Japanese employees additionally answered questions on civility, worksite social support, workplace bullying, psychological distress, intention to leave, and work engagement to investigate construct validity. Results: At least one form of workplace incivility was experienced by both Japanese (52.3%) and Canadian (86.0%) employees in the previous month. Internal consistency reliability of the J-MWIS was acceptable (α=0.71-0.81), and correlation analyses also confirmed its construct validity as expected. Workplace incivility was associated with lower workgroup civility, lower supervisor and coworker support, higher workplace bullying, higher psychological distress, higher intention to leave, and lower work engagement. Confirmatory factor analyses showed that the original three-factor model (supervisor incivility, coworker incivility, and instigated incivility) fitted moderately in both Japan and Canada data, though the privacy/overfamiliarity factor was additionally extracted from exploratory factor analysis for the J-MWIS. Conclusions: The results of this study suggested that the J-MWIS has moderate internal consistency reliability and good construct validity.

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  • Ana Paula Bruno Pena Gralle, Arlinda Barbosa Moreno, Leidjaira Lopes J ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 247-255
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2017
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    Objective: To assess the association between job strain and binge eating as well as the effect-modifying influence of body mass index (BMI) on this association. Methods: A total of 11,951 active civil servants from the multicenter Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) was included in this cross-sectional analysis. Job strain was assessed using the Demand-Control-Support Questionnaire. Binge eating was defined as eating a large amount of food with a sense of lack of control over what and how much is eaten in less than 2 hours at least twice a week. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the association between binge eating and job strain as well as its interaction with BMI. Results: After adjustment, and using low-strain job as the reference category, binge eating was associated with high-strain job (high demand/low control: odds ratio [OR]=1.58, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.26-1.98), active job (high demand/high control: OR=1.35, 95% CI 1.07-1.70), and passive job (low demand/low control: OR=1.24, 95% CI 1.01-1.53). Psychological job demands were positively associated with binge eating (OR=1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.07), while greater job control and social support at work were each inversely associated with binge eating (OR=0.95, 95% CI 0.92-0.97 and OR=0.96, 95% CI 0.94-0.98, respectively). BMI modified the association between job strain and binge eating: Heavier psychological job demands were associated with higher odds of binge eating among obese participants, while a stronger inverse association between job control and binge eating was seen among slimmer participants. Conclusions: Job strain increases the odds of binge eating and this association is modified by BMI.

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  • Shigeyuki Kajiki, Hiroyuki Izumi, Kenshi Hayashida, Akira Kusumoto, To ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 256-266
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: March 17, 2017
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    Objectives: This study aimed to determine the effects of participatory workplace improvement (PWI) -based provision of ergonomic training and ergonomic action checklists (ACLs) to on-site managers on workplace improvement activities for low back pain (LBP). Methods: A randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted at a manufacturing company in Japan. Teams entered in the study were randomly assigned to a control and an intervention group. A total of three interventional training sessions on methods of ergonomics were provided to on-site managers in the intervention group, with 1-month intervals between sessions. Ergonomic ACLs were provided at the same time. After completion of the training sessions, each team then provided a report of improvements each month for the next 10 months. Two people in charge of safety and health chose two major objectives of the implemented activities from the five categories. The reported number of improvements was analyzed using a Poisson regression model. Results: In the intervention group, although the incident rate ratio (IRR) of PWIs in countermeasures for the LBP category was significantly elevated after the training sessions, the IRR of improvements decreased over time during the 10-month follow-up period. No significant difference was observed in the IRR of total PWIs in either the control or intervention group. Conclusions: PWI-based provision of ergonomic training sessions and ergonomics ACLs to on-site managers was shown to be effective for workplace improvement activities targeted at LBP. However, because the effects decrease over time, efforts should be made to maintain the effects through regular interventions.

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  • Cindy Noben, Myrthe van Vilsteren, Cécile Boot, Romy Steenbeek, Dirkja ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 267-279
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 05, 2017
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    Objectives: Evaluating the cost effectiveness and cost utility of an integrated care intervention and participatory workplace intervention for workers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to improve their work productivity. Methods: Twelve month follow-up economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial (RCT) within specialized rheumatology treatment centers. Adults diagnosed with RA between 18-64 years, in a paid job for at least eight hours per week, experiencing minor difficulties in work functioning were randomized to the intervention (n = 75) or the care-as-usual (CAU) group (n = 75). Effect outcomes were productivity and quality of life (QALYs). Costs associated with healthcare, patient and family, productivity, and intervention were calculated from a societal perspective. Cost effectiveness and cost utility were assessed to indicate the incremental costs and benefits per additional unit of effect. Subgroup and sensitivity analyses evaluated the robustness of the findings. Results: At-work productivity loss was about 4.6 hours in the intervention group and 3.5 hours in the care as usual (CAU) group per two weeks. Differences in QALY were negligible; 0.77 for the CAU group and 0.74 for the intervention group. In total, average costs after twelve months follow-up were highest in the intervention group (€7,437.76) compared to the CAU group (€5,758.23). The cost-effectiveness and cost-utility analyses show that the intervention was less effective and (often) more expensive when compared to CAU. Sensitivity analyses supported these findings. Discussion: The integrated care intervention and participatory workplace intervention for workers with RA provides gains neither in productivity at the workplace nor in quality of life. These results do not justify the additional costs.

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  • Koichi Yoshino, Seitaro Suzuki, Yoichi Ishizuka, Atsushi Takayanagi, N ...
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 280-285
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: March 29, 2017
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    Objective: Continuous or frequent overtime work has been shown to have harmful effects on human health. Meanwhile, one of the main reasons for tooth loss is caries. The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between overtime work and untreated decayed teeth in male financial workers. Methods: The participants were recruited by applying screening procedures to a pool of Japanese registrants in an online database. Participants filled out a questionnaire about their oral health, behavior, and working conditions. Participants comprised a total of 951 financial male workers, aged 25-64 years. Results: The likelihood of tooth decay increased with amount of overtime work (p=0.002). After adjusting for age, income, educational background, oral hygiene behavior, snacking behavior, regular dental visitation, bad interpersonal relationships at work, and smoking habit, a multiple logistic regression analysis found that participants with 45-80 h of overtime work (odds ratio [OR], 2.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23-5.33) or over 80 h of overtime work (OR, 3.01; 95% CI, 1.13-7.97) were more likely to have untreated tooth decay. The percentage of participants who gave "too busy with work" as the reason for leaving decayed teeth untreated increased with amount of overtime (p<0.001). Conclusion: These results indicate that overtime work is strongly related to untreated decayed teeth. In addition to oral health education and dental checkups, decreasing stress and decreasing the amount of overtime work may also have a positive effect on oral health in the workplace.

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Brief Reports
  • Chie Ebata, Hitomi Tatsuta, Masayuki Tatemichi
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 286-291
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 04, 2017
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    Objective: The prediction of health impairment due to work overload is subjectively assessed based on recognized symptoms; however, objective evaluation is primarily ideal in the field of occupational health. Recently, some biomarkers of autonomic function and/or oxidative stress were reported to be associated with fatigue. This study aimed to preliminarily investigate whether these biomarkers could be objective indicators for fatigue and stress among working women. Method: Participants included 118 full-time female workers (mean age 37.8 years), including 55 shift workers. Self-administered questionnaires, such as visual analog scale (VAS) for general health, a lifestyle questionnaire, SF-8 for health-related quality of life, and K6 for mental health screening, were used. In addition, biomarkers such as acceleration plethysmogram (APG), reactive oxygen metabolites-derived compounds (d-ROMs), and biological antioxidant potential (BAP) were measured. Results: A significant association was observed between BAP and VAS (r=0.482, p<0.01) among shift workers. However, other biomarkers such as APG and d-ROMs were not significantly associated with symptoms. d-ROMs were significantly correlated with age and body mass index. There was a significant negative correlation between BAP and smoking. Results of the APG (low-frequency (LF) /high-frequency (HF) ratio) were significantly correlated with BAP, but not with d-ROMs. The LF/HF ratio and BAP for shift workers were significantly higher than those for day-time workers. Conclusions: Our results suggest that APG and BAP are potential objective biomarkers for fatigue among working women, although further follow-up studies are needed to clarify the scope of usefulness of the biomarkers for fatigue.

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  • Jian Du, Yu Pang, Yan Ma, Fengling Mi, Yuhong Liu, Liang Li
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 292-295
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: February 15, 2017
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    Objectives: Tuberculosis (TB) specialized hospitals are playing an increasingly important role in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with TB in China. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of TB among health care workers (HCWs) in TB specialized hospitals in China. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey to collect longitudinal information on the number of HCWs and patients with TB from HCWs among 203 TB hospitals in China. Results: Overall, these 186 TB cases accounted for the incidence of 985 per 100,000 population. The prevalence ratios among medical professionals (PR = 2.40) and laboratory technicians (PR = 2.17) were significantly higher than other hospital staff (PR = 1.04). In addition, general hospitals with TB clinics had the highest prevalence ratio of TB (PR = 5.15), while designated TB hospitals had the lowest prevalence ratio (PR = 1.48). Conclusion: Our findings demonstrated that HCWs are suffering from an increased risk of infection with TB in China, and medical professionals (physicians and nurses) and general hospitals with TB clinics have the highest prevalence ratio of TB.

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Field Study
  • Kiran Shankar, Vivian Fung, Mahinda Seneviratne, Gregory E O'Donnell
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 296-303
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: March 17, 2017
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    Objectives: This study was conducted to determine the level of exposure of 4,4'-methylene bis (2-chloroaniline) (MbOCA) in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Methods: An integrated occupational hygiene and biological monitoring program were used to assess the workers' exposure to MbOCA via inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact. This was conducted by personal air monitoring, static air monitoring and surface contamination monitoring of the work environment and biological monitoring of the workers' exposure to MbOCA at nine workplaces in NSW. Results: The air monitoring results for MbOCA gave a geometric mean (GM) of 0.06 μg/m3 and a geometric standard deviation (GSD) of 2.70 and a 95% confidence interval of 0.29 μg/m3. The surface contamination in the main work area showed the highest contamination with a GM of 74 ng/cm2 and a GSD of 17 and a 95% confidence interval of 7,751 ng/cm2. Biological monitoring showed a GM of 0.89 μmol/mol cr and a GSD of 11.9 and a 95% confidence interval of 52 μmol/mol cr. This indicated that 13% of the workers were over the SafeWork NSW Biological Occupational Exposure Limit of 15 μmol/mol cr. Conclusions: Workers' exposure through inhalation was minimal; however, evidence from biological monitoring of MbOCA suggested that the main contributing factor to exposure was skin absorption. This was attributed to poor housekeeping and inadequate personal protection. Improvements in these areas were recommended, and it was also recommended to improve the awareness of the workers to the adverse effects to their health of exposure to this carcinogen.

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Opinion/Recommendation
  • Tomohiro Ishimaru, Koji Wada, Derek R. Smith
    Volume 59 (2017) Issue 3 Pages 304-308
    Released: May 25, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 05, 2017
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    Occupational health management plays an important role in the prevention of provider-to-patient transmission in healthcare workers infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV). Therefore, the Japan Society for Occupational Health's Research Group on Occupational Health for Health Care Workers has proposed a consensus for the management of healthcare workers infected with HIV, HBV, and/or HCV based on recent evidence for each concerned group. The consensus recommends that: (1) employers in medical institutions should establish a policy of respecting the human rights of healthcare workers, management strategies for occupational blood exposure, and occupational health consultation; (2) occupational health staff should appropriately assess the risk of provider-to-patient transmission of HIV, HBV, and/or HCV infection and rearrange their tasks if necessary. When conducting risk assessment, occupational health staff should obtain informed consent and then cooperate with the physician in charge as well as infection control experts in the workplace; (3) healthcare workers infected with HIV, HBV, and/or HCV should disclose their employment to their treating physician and consult with their doctor regarding the need for special considerations at work; and (4) supervisors and colleagues in medical institutions should correctly understand the risks of HIV, HBV, and HCV infection and should not engage in any behavior that leads to discrimination against colleagues infected with HIV, HBV, and/or HCV.

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Letter to the editors
Erratum
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