Objective: The topic of occupational health physicians’ specific interventions for deciding on corporate health measures has not been researched. Such interventions are necessary in corporate decision-making and for considering the needs of the company and its employees. We examined the aspects and methods of occupational health services that facilitate corporate decision-making regarding health measures. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 11 certified occupational health physicians involved in the planning of health measures at 10 companies. Data were analyzed qualitatively and inductively using Berelson’s content analysis method. Results: We divided 144 items corresponding to the research theme into three categories: organizational decision-making process in health measures, occupational health physician interventions, and complementary factors concerning interventions. The interventions were further categorized as follows: building relationships, promoting mutual understanding; consensus-building process, coordination; visualization company needs based on hypotheses; and integrated planning and proposals. The study identified specific intervention methods of each category. Discussions: Aspects and methods that facilitate decision-making in occupational health services were as follows: 1) understanding the scope of consensus formation and its impact based on the characteristics of corporate decision-making regarding health measures and premises of decision maker; 2) improving awareness about occupational health by consistently presenting information on occupational health, translating it to be necessary for corporate management. Occupational health professionals, mainly occupational health physicians, are expected to contribute to health policy decisions while utilizing the method clarified in this study.
Objectives: The support from businesses to create a balance between work schedules and treatment regimens among employees suffering from cancer seems to be insufficient. The aims of this study were to investigate efforts to find a balance between work schedules and treatment regimens among cancer patients focusing on company size and to identify potential workplace improvements for these employees. Methods: Seven hundred and seventy businesses in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, were randomly selected from a workplace list consisting of businesses that had received support from either the Wakayama Occupational Health Support Center or the Regional Occupational Health Center. An anonymous questionnaire was distributed by mail. It consisted of question items on the workplace, support systems, current employees who had suffered or were suffering from cancer (cancer patient employees), their reinstatement, promoting reinstatement and employment of cancer patient employees, and job description of respondents. Results: A completed questionnaire was collected from 188 businesses (response rate: 24.4%). Among small-sized businesses (less than 50 employees), 55% carried out or recommended consultation for cancer screening. This ratio was higher than that of medium-sized businesses (50–99 employees) or large-sized businesses (100 or more employees). Approximately 20% of the businesses had a support system for employees who were working while undergoing cancer treatment, and more small-sized businesses had a system of annual paid leave by the hour than the medium-sized or large-sized businesses. Among the small-sized businesses, 51% had a system of sick leave for regular employees, but this ratio was significantly lower than that among the large-sized businesses. Approximately 20% of businesses had established a system of paid sick leave for regular employees. Reinstatement of employment was possible in over 80% of the businesses. The condition for reinstatement that was most frequently stipulated was that the employee’s doctor had provided a medical certificate stating that the employee was able to return to work. However, among small-sized businesses, the condition that colleagues at the workplace were willing to accept him/her was more frequently stipulated. Conclusions: Cancer screening, annual paid leave by the hour, and institutionalization of sick leave are recommended as workplace improvements for cancer patient employees.