Objectives: In recent years, efforts made by cancer patients to balance their work schedules and treatment regimens have gained increasing attention. Such workers tend to resign when diagnosed with cancer. A particularly prominent issue is that many of these employees resign immediately after diagnosis. This study aimed to clarify factors influencing continuation of employment from the period immediately after diagnosis up to the first treatment. Methods: Study aims were explained to 68 employees, who were 20‒64 years and had received a definitive diagnosis of cancer in the last two years. After obtaining informed consent, structured interviews were conducted. Result: Informed consent was obtained from 61 patients, of which 60 (98.4%) wished to continue working after diagnosis. Of these 60 patients, 15 (25.0%) had not been working (including those on leave) and 45 (85.0%) had continued employment. The latter comprised the continuation group. There were no significant differences in attributes, company type and size, nor in employment status between the two groups. Subjects in the continuation group sought significantly more consultation for the questionnaire item "Disease, treatment, and symptoms," whereas significantly less consultation was sought for the item "Concerning expenses such as medical bills and living costs." The number of those who had disclosed their illness to colleagues was significantly higher in the continuation group, while the number of those hoping for a "Probationary period for returning to work" and complaining of "Prejudice and misunderstanding of cancer patient's continuation of work" was significantly smaller in the continuation group. The number of those who had undergone surgery and who received a score of 0 to 1 (light work acceptable) on the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was significantly higher in the continuation group. As for other factors that had influenced subjects' decision to continue working or not, subjects described two situational attitudes: first, "Gratitude for understanding, consideration, and encouragement of superiors and colleagues" and second, "Impossibility of thinking about work immediately after diagnosis." Conclusion: Results revealed that continuation of work immediately after diagnosis was related to the stage of the patient's cancer, their general condition, and whether they had undergone surgery or not. Support from superiors and/or colleagues at the workplace was also beneficial. Medical staff should therefore provide patients with support in overcoming the crisis in which they feel the continuation of work immediately after diagnosis to be an impossibility, and to assist them in making an informed choice regarding their employment status.
Objectives: We investigated the support environments in companies in Ishikawa prefecture that aim to maintain a balance between work and treatment of their employees’ diseases. The relationships between these strategies, company size, and type of industry were examined. Methods: In 2016, as a part of a survey, questionnaires were sent to 1,491 companies with ≥50 employees. Of the 688 companies who responded (response rate, 46.1%), 624 companies who provided complete main survey data were included in the final analysis. The questionnaire acquired responses on systems for arranging working hours and sick leave, the role of occupational health physicians, and the outcomes of support that was offered over the last 3 years. The targeted diseases were mental health problems, such as depression, and physical diseases. Responses were compared according to the size of the company and type of industry. Results: A total of 409 companies (65.5%) reported their experiences of helping employees maintain a balance between treatment and work over the last 3 years. Employees with depression received the most support. In 36.7% of the companies, some employees had retired due to their disease over the last 3 years, with the highest proportion in medical care and welfare businesses. Further, 66% of the companies had a support system to help employees with diseases, and the proportion of companies with flexible working hours and sick leave increased with the number of employees. The proportion of companies with shorter working hours and hourly paid leave was lower in the manufacturing industry and transportation/traffic business. The proportion of companies in which an occupational health physician interviewed employees who took sick leave and returned to work was 22%. Conclusions: Almost 70% of the companies reported supporting workers during their disease treatment. There were some differences in arranging these support systems between companies of varying sizes and type of industry. The enablement of companies to support workers with diseases so that they keep working and receive treatment requires consideration of company characteristics.
Objectives: This study aimed to collect and assess information about occupational health in India, for Japanese enterprises. Methaods: We conducted a preliminary survey through literature reviews and internet search engines. We then conducted interview-based surveys at a central government agency, an international organization, the Japanese embassy, educational and research institutions, and Japanese enterprises in India. This information was categorized into: (1) organizations, legal and inspection systems in occupational health, (2) occupational health management and specialists in workplaces, (3) occupational health-related activities in workplaces resulting from legal obligations, and (4) healthcare and workers' compensation systems. Results: The Indian Ministry of Labour and Employment is primarily responsible for occupational safety and health. There are four main acts of legislation covering occupational safety and health in the factories, ports, mines, and construction sites. The Factories Act, 1948, mandates the establishment of an occupational health center and a safety committee in the factories; the appointment of factory medical officers and safety officers. These medical officers must possess an Indian medical degree, and undertake a three months' course to obtain an Associate Fellow of Industrial Health certificate. The rules and regulations under this act differ in each Indian state. Low-wage workers are registered with a medical insurance scheme. Most workers are covered by workers' compensation schemes, although the number of reported occupational injuries are low. Conclusions: Japanese enterprises should consider the local conditions of occupational health in India because of the different legalities and occupational health status in each state. Regardless of the Factories Act, 1948, stipulating a variety of occupational health-related activities, inadequate legal compliance is suspected to be common because of the ineffective labor inspection requirements and a shortage of specialists on human resources. The study also revealed a deficient social security system. Therefore, the internal educational support for specialists, external support from the company headquarters in Japan, and the local institutions in India; and the systemic support for effective occupational health-related activities are required for improving the status of occupational health in the factories in India.
Objectives: This study aimed to consider the appropriate occupational health system for Japanese enterprises in the Philippines based on information on the regulations and development of specialists. Methods: We collected information using an information-gathering checklist. Along with literature and internet surveys, we conducted interviews by visiting local business sites, central government agencies in charge of medical and health issues, and educational institutions with specialized occupational physician training curricula. Results: Occupational health administration in the Philippines is managed by the Department of Labor and Employment, which issues the Occupational Safety and Health Standards that specify the legal requirements for occupational health. A new law(Republic Act 11058),enacted in 2018 to strengthen the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, has newly established a penalty provision in case of violations. Professional personnel responsible for occupational health are grouped as safety officers and occupational health personnel, including occupational physicians and occupational nurses; training is conducted at the Occupational Safety and Health Center of the Department of Labor and Employment and educational institutions. The basic medical insurance system and the workers' compensation system are operated by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation and Social Security Committee, respectively, both of which are government agencies. Conclusions: We confirmed that occupational health activities in the Philippines are based on government regulations, namely, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards. In addition, the enactment of a new law calls for strict compliance with corporate occupational health activities. To manage proper occupational health activities at overseas workplaces, Japanese corporations should clarify corporate-wide policies and support local employers in complying with regulations and utilizing highly specialized personnel.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to analyze current trends in occupational health activities by classifying reports from medical facilities in Japan. Methods: Reports of current workplace-level occupational health activities from medical activities that were collected by the Japan Medical Association Occupational Health Committee were used for the study. Of 5,000 questionnaire forms sent to medical facilities, 1,920 responses were returned. The freely described reports on ongoing occupational health activities contained in these responses were classified according to each of the following aspects of reported activities: 1) details of occupational health activities including main actors in workplace-level actions; and 2) approaches taken for occupational safety and health. The classification of the reports was implemented by a working group comprising selected occupational health practitioners and researchers. Results: Among 1,920 survey responses, 581 valid texts were analyzed. Altogether, 1,044 occupational health activities currently undertaken by the facilities were extracted. The reported activities that were classified according to details of occupational health activities mainly comprised "Measures for preventing overwork, labor management, and work-style reform" (35.7%), "Measures for improving mental health" (21.0%), and "Review of occupational safety and health management systems" (19.3%). Medical facilities implementing "Measures for mental health" alongside "Measures for preventing overwork, labor management, and work-style reform" were reported in 13.2% of the responding medical facilities. "Occupational health professionals or safety and health management staff" (71.7%) were the most frequent main actors of these activities, followed by "Members of the workplace" (18.4%) and "Outsourced experts" (2.4%). "Comprehensive safety and health management" (42.0%) was the most common approach taken for occupational safety and health, followed by "Management focusing on topics" (23.8%) and "Case management" (16.5%). Most of these activities focused on primary prevention aimed at labor management including prevention of overwork, work-style reform, and mental health promotion. Another key trend could be "Teamwork among occupational safety and health staff, workers, and employers at respective workplaces as well as outsourced experts." Discussion: Several key trends were extracted from current occupational health activities at medical facilities. In most cases, these measures were implemented simultaneously. This suggests the importance of combining primary prevention measures for mental health with measures for labor management including prevention of overwork. These activities reflect emerging trends that incorporate teamwork between experts, workers, and employers, and provide new perspectives on workplace-level occupational safety and health activities.
Objectives: This study aimed to clarify workplace recognition regarding working continuation of employees with early onset dementia
Methods: An anonymous self-administrated questionnaire was emailed to a prefecture consisting of 1,293 workplaces with 50 or more employees. Survey items assessed demographics, workplace regulations supporting employees, coworker acceptance of employees with early onset dementia, and recognition and dealing with employees with early onset dementia. The possibility of employees with early onset dementia continuing work was compared for demographics, workplace regulations supporting employees, and cooperation in the workplace.
Results: Responses were received from 375 workplaces, and 273 valid responses were analyzed. In total, 133 workplaces (48.7%) answered that there was a high possibility of continuing employment for employees with early onset dementia and 135 workplaces (49.5%) were aware of early onset dementia. Less than 10% of workplaces reported examination of managing employees with early onset dementia, implementation/planning of training and information dissemination to managers or employees. Factors related to the possibility of continuing employment were number of employees (< 100, p =.015, odds ratio = 2.02), workplace regulations supporting employees with early onset dementia (p = .011, odds ratio = 2.22), and workplace coordination with occupational health staff (p = .004, odds ratio = 2.16).
Conclusions: There is a general need for training and information regarding early onset dementia in the workplace. For smaller companies, external advice and support in providing systems suitable to each workplace is necessary.