ResearchPad - Safety Research https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Measurement and Modeling of Job Stress of Electric Overhead Traveling Crane Operators]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5bc79abb40307c3e45e3d719

Background

In this study, the measurement of job stress of electric overhead traveling crane operators and quantification of the effects of operator and workplace characteristics on job stress were assessed.

Methods

Job stress was measured on five subscales: employee empowerment, role overload, role ambiguity, rule violation, and job hazard. The characteristics of the operators that were studied were age, experience, body weight, and body height. The workplace characteristics considered were hours of exposure, cabin type, cabin feature, and crane height. The proposed methodology included administration of a questionnaire survey to 76 electric overhead traveling crane operators followed by analysis using analysis of variance and a classification and regression tree.

Results

The key findings were: (1) the five subscales can be used to measure job stress; (2) employee empowerment was the most significant factor followed by the role overload; (3) workplace characteristics contributed more towards job stress than operator's characteristics; and (4) of the workplace characteristics, crane height was the major contributor.

Conclusion

The issues related to crane height and cabin feature can be fixed by providing engineering or foolproof solutions than relying on interventions related to the demographic factors.

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<![CDATA[Domestic Violence in the Canadian Workplace: Are Coworkers Aware?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5b02c4a7463d7e5da8171ad7

Background

Domestic violence (DV) is associated with serious consequences for victims, children, and families, and even national economies. An emerging literature demonstrates that DV also has a negative impact on workers and workplaces. Less is known about the extent to which people are aware of coworkers' experiences of DV.

Methods

Using data from a pan-Canadian sample of 8,429 men and women, we examine: (1) awareness of coworker DV victimization and perpetration; (2) the warning signs of DV victimization and perpetration recognized by workers; (3) whether DV victims are more likely than nonvictims to recognize DV and its warning signs in the workplace; and (4) the impacts of DV that workers perceive on victims'/perpetrators' ability to work.

Results

Nearly 40% of participants believed they had recognized a DV victim and/or perpetrator in the workplace and many reported recognizing more than one warning sign. DV victims were significantly more likely to report recognizing victims and perpetrators in the workplace, and recognized more DV warning signs. Among participants who believed they knew a coworker who had experienced DV, 49.5% thought the DV had affected their coworker's ability to work. For those who knew a coworker perpetrating DV, 37.9% thought their coworker's ability to work was affected by the abusive behavior.

Conclusion

Our findings have implications for a coordinated workplace response to DV. Further research is urgently needed to examine how best to address DV in the workplace and improve outcomes for victims, perpetrators, and their coworkers.

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<![CDATA[Diisocyanate-induced asthma in Switzerland: long-term course and patients&#8217; self-assessment after a 12-year follow-up]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989d9d3ab0ee8fa60b64e82

Background

Isocyanates are among the most common causes of occupational asthma (OA) in Switzerland. Patients with OA have been shown to have unfavourable medical, socioeconomic and psychological outcomes. We investigated long-term asthma and the socio-economic outcomes of diisocyanate-induced asthma (DIA) in Switzerland.

Patients and methods

We conducted an observational study on 49 patients with DIA and followed 35 of these patients over a mean exposure-free interval of 12 ± 0.5 (range 11.0-13.0) years. At the initial and follow-up examinations, we recorded data on respiratory symptoms and asthma medication; measured the lung function; and tested for bronchial hyperreactivity. We allowed the patients to assess their state of health and overall satisfaction using a visual analogue scale (VAS) at these visits.

Results

The 35 patients whom we could follow had a median symptomatic exposure time of 12 months, interquartile range (IQR) 26 months and a median overall exposure time of 51 (IQR 104) months. Their subjective symptoms (p < 0.001) and the use of asthma medication (p = 0.002), particularly the use of inhaled corticosteroids (p < 0.001), decreased by nearly 50%. At the same time, the self-assessment of the patients’ state of health and overall satisfaction increased considerably according to both symptomatology and income. In contrast, slight reductions in terms of FVC% predicted from 102% to 96% (p = 0.04), of FEV1% predicted from 91% to 87% (p = 0.06) and of the FEV1/FVC ratio of 3%; (p = 0.01) were observed while NSBHR positivity did not change significantly. In univariate as well as multivariate logistic analyses we showed significant associations between age, duration of exposure and FEV1/FVC ratio with persistent asthma symptoms and NSBHR.

Conclusions

We found that the patients’ symptoms, the extent of their therapy and the decrease in their lung volumes during the follow-up period were similar to the findings in the literature. The same hold true for some prognostic factors, whereas the patients’ self-assessment of their state of health and overall satisfaction improved considerably.

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<![CDATA[Safety evaluation of topical applications of ethanol on the skin and inside the oral cavity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da09ab0ee8fa60b76dd8

Ethanol is widely used in all kinds of products with direct exposure to the human skin (e.g. medicinal products like hand disinfectants in occupational settings, cosmetics like hairsprays or mouthwashes, pharmaceutical preparations, and many household products). Contradictory evidence about the safety of such topical applications of the alcohol can be found in the scientific literature, yet an up-to-date risk assessment of ethanol application on the skin and inside the oral cavity is currently lacking.

The first and foremost concerns of topical ethanol applications for public health are its carcinogenic effects, as there is unambiguous evidence for the carcinogenicity of ethanol orally consumed in the form of alcoholic beverages. So far there is a lack of evidence to associate topical ethanol use with an increased risk of skin cancer. Limited and conflicting epidemiological evidence is available on the link between the use of ethanol in the oral cavity in the form of mouthwashes or mouthrinses and oral cancer. Some studies pointed to an increased risk of oral cancer due to locally produced acetaldehyde, operating via a similar mechanism to that found after alcoholic beverage ingestion.

In addition, topically applied ethanol acts as a skin penetration enhancer and may facilitate the transdermal absorption of xenobiotics (e.g. carcinogenic contaminants in cosmetic formulations). Ethanol use is associated with skin irritation or contact dermatitis, especially in humans with an aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) deficiency.

After regular application of ethanol on the skin (e.g. in the form of hand disinfectants) relatively low but measurable blood concentrations of ethanol and its metabolite acetaldehyde may occur, which are, however, below acute toxic levels. Only in children, especially through lacerated skin, can percutaneous toxicity occur.

As there might be industry bias in many studies about the safety of topical ethanol applications, as well as a general lack of scientific research on the long-term effects, there is a requirement for independent studies on this topic. The research focus should be set on the chronic toxic effects of ethanol and acetaldehyde at the point of impact, with special regard to children and individuals with genetic deficiencies in ethanol metabolism.

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<![CDATA[Effects of short duration stress management training on self-perceived depression, anxiety and stress in male automotive assembly workers: a quasi-experimental study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989dab3ab0ee8fa60bac252

To examine the effects of short duration stress management training (SMT) on self-perceived depression, anxiety and stress in male automotive assembly workers, 118 male automotive workers from Pekan, Pahang (n = 60, mean age = 40.0 years, SD = 6.67) and Kota Bharu, Kelantan (n = 58, mean age = 38.1 years, SD = 5.86) were assigned to experimental and control group, respectively. A SMT program consisting of aerobic exercise, stress management manual, video session, lecture, question and answer session, and pamphlet and poster session were conducted in the experimental group. A validated short-form Malay version of the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS-21) were self-administered before and after the intervention program in the experimental and control group and their time and group interaction effects were examined using the repeated measure ANOVA test. Results indicated that the mean (SD) scores for DASS-Depression (p = 0.036) and DASS-Anxiety (p = 0.011) were significantly decreased, respectively, after the intervention program in the experimental group as compared to the control group (significant time-group interaction effects). No similar effect was observed for the mean (SD) scores for DASS-Stress (p = 0.104). However, the mean (SD) scores for subscales of DASS-Depression (Dysphoria, p = 0.01), DASS-Anxiety (Subjective Anxiety, p = 0.007, Situational Anxiety, p = 0.048), and DASS-Stress (Nervous Arousal, p = 0.018, Easily Upset, p = 0.047) showed significant time and group interaction effects. These findings suggest that short duration SMT is effective in reducing some aspects of self-perceived depression, anxiety and stress in male automotive workers.

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<![CDATA[Hydration status and physiological workload of UAE construction workers: A prospective longitudinal observational study]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989daaaab0ee8fa60ba906e

Background

The objective of the study was to investigate the physiological responses of construction workers labouring in thermally stressful environments in the UAE using Thermal Work Limit (TWL) as a method of environmental risk assessment.

Methods

The study was undertaken in May 2006. Aural temperature, fluid intake, and urine specific gravity were recorded and continuous heart rate monitoring was used to assess fatigue. Subjects were monitored over 3 consecutive shifts. TWL and WBGT were used to assess the thermal stress.

Results

Most subjects commenced work euhydrated and maintained this status over a 12-hour shift. The average fluid intake was 5.44 L. There were no changes in core temperature or average heart rate between day 1 and day 3, nor between shift start and finish, despite substantial changes in thermal stress. The results obtained indicated that the workers were not physiologically challenged despite fluctuating harsh environmental conditions. Core body temperatures were not elevated suggesting satisfactory thermoregulation.

Conclusion

The data demonstrate that people can work, without adverse physiological effects, in hot conditions if they are provided with the appropriate fluids and are allowed to self-pace. The findings suggested that workers will self-pace according to the conditions. The data also demonstrated that the use of WBGT (a widely used risk assessment tool) as a thermal index is inappropriate for use in Gulf conditions, however TWL was found to be a valuable tool in assessing thermal stress.

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<![CDATA[Instrument for stress-related job analysis for hospital physicians: validation of a short version]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da75ab0ee8fa60b963ad

Background

Working conditions in hospitals may endanger physicians' health and impair patient care. For this reason, an instrument was developed in the form of a questionnaire, in order to record problems in physicians' working conditions and to suggest possible ways of improving them.

Methods

A survey was performed with 571 hospital physicians. The questionnaire used is a shortened version of the extensive Instrument for Stress-related Job Analysis for Hospital Physicians. This short version contains 14 scales with 30 items on stressors and resources. For validation purposes, several scales were also used for well-being.

Results

The factor structure of the short version of the instrument for hospital physicians was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. Cronbach's α and the analyses of interrater agreement with the parameter rwg(J) largely gave moderate to good results. The intercorrelations between the scales are mostly slight to moderate, indicating that the scales are largely independent. The bivariate correlations with different well-being variables are highly significant for most questionnaire scales. In multiple hierarchical regression analyses the scales explained a considerable amount of variance for different well-being variables. Taken together, this emphasizes the relevance of the scales for the stress process.

Conclusions

The short version of the Instrument for Stress-related Job Analysis for Hospital Physicians is a reliable and valid instrument, which can be used practically and economically for normal hospital work.

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<![CDATA[Expression of VPAC1 in a murine model of allergic asthma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989daa9ab0ee8fa60ba8ce0

Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is a putative neurotransmitter of the inhibitory non-adrenergic non-cholinergic nervous system and influences the mammalian airway function in various ways. Hence known for bronchodilatory, immunomodulatory and mucus secretion modulating effects by interacting with the VIP receptors VPAC1 and VPAC2, it is discussed to be a promising target for pharmaceutical intervention in common diseases such as COPD and bronchial asthma. Here we examined the expression and transcriptional regulation of VPAC1 in the lungs of allergic mice using an ovalbumin (OVA) -induced model of allergic asthma. Mice were sensitized to OVA and challenged with an OVA aerosol. In parallel a control group was sham sensitized with saline. VPAC1 expression was examined using RT-PCR and real time-PCR studies were performed to quantify gene transcription. VPAC1 mRNA expression was detected in all samples of OVA-sensitized and challenged animals and control tissues. Further realtime analysis did not show significant differences at the transcriptional level.

Although the present studies did not indicate a major transcriptional regulation of VPAC1 in states of allergic airway inflammation, immunomodulatory effects of VPAC1 might still be present due to regulations at the translational level.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptional down-regulation of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS)-3 in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db33ab0ee8fa60bd265f

Background

Tobacco is a leading environmental factor in the initiation of respiratory diseases and causes chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family members are involved in the pathogenesis of many inflammatory diseases and SOCS-3 has been shown to play an important role in the regulation, onset and maintenance of airway allergic inflammation indicating that SOCS-3 displays a potential therapeutic target for anti-inflammatory respiratory drugs development. Since chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is also characterized by inflammatory changes and airflow limitation, the present study assessed the transcriptional expression of SOCS-3 in COPD.

Methods

Real-time PCR was performed to assess quantitative changes in bronchial biopsies of COPD patients in comparison to unaffected controls.

Results

SOCS-3 was significantly down-regulated in COPD at the transcriptional level while SOCS-4 and SOCS-5 displayed no change.

Conclusions

It can be concluded that the presently observed inhibition of SOCS-3 mRNA expression may be related to the dysbalance of cytokine signaling observed in COPD.

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<![CDATA[Silicosis: geographic changes in research: an analysis employing density-equalizing mapping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db1dab0ee8fa60bce9e6

Background

A critical evaluation of scientific efforts is needed in times of modified evaluation criteria for academic personnel and institutions.

Methods

Using scientometric benchmark procedures and density-equalizing mapping, we analysed the global scientific efforts on “silicosis” of the last 92 years focusing on geographical changes within the last 30 years, specifying the most productive authors, institutions, countries and the most successful cooperations.

Results

The USA as the most productive supplier have established their position as center of international cooperation, followed in considerable distance by the United Kingdom, Germany and China. Asian countries, particularly China, catch up and are expected to excel the USA still in this decade.

Conclusion

The combination of scientometric procedures with density-equalizing mapping reveals a distinct global pattern of research productivity and citation activity. Modified h-index, citationrate and impact factor have to be discussed critically due to distortion by bias of self-citation, language and co-authorship.

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<![CDATA[Lipopolysaccharide induced inflammation in the perivascular space in lungs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da38ab0ee8fa60b870bc

Background

Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) contained in tobacco smoke and a variety of environmental and occupational dusts is a toxic agent causing lung inflammation characterized by migration of neutrophils and monocytes into alveoli. Although migration of inflammatory cells into alveoli of LPS-treated rats is well characterized, the dynamics of their accumulation in the perivascular space (PVS) leading to a perivascular inflammation (PVI) of pulmonary arteries is not well described.

Methods

Therefore, we investigated migration of neutrophils and monocytes into PVS in lungs of male Sprague-Dawley rats treated intratracheally with E. coli LPS and euthanized after 1, 6, 12, 24 and 36 hours. Control rats were treated with endotoxin-free saline. H&E stained slides were made and immunohistochemistry was performed using a monocyte marker and the chemokine Monocyte-Chemoattractant-Protein-1 (MCP-1). Computer-assisted microscopy was performed to count infiltrating cells.

Results

Surprisingly, the periarterial infiltration was not a constant finding in each animal although LPS-induced alveolitis was present. A clear tendency was observed that neutrophils were appearing in the PVS first within 6 hours after LPS application and were decreasing at later time points. In contrast, mononuclear cell infiltration was observed after 24 hours. In addition, MCP-1 expression was present in perivascular capillaries, arteries and the epithelium.

Conclusion

PVI might be a certain lung reaction pattern in the defense to infectious attacks.

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<![CDATA[Involvement of occupational physicians in the management of MRSA-colonised healthcare workers in Germany &#8211; a survey]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da8cab0ee8fa60b9e680

Background

Colonisation of healthcare workers (HCWs) with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains (MRSA) is a challenge for any healthcare facility. Persistent carriage of MRSA among HCWs causes special problems, particularly in occupational-medical care. German occupational physicians responsible for healthcare facilities were therefore asked about their experience in managing MRSA-colonised HCWs.

Methods

In May 2012, 549 occupational physicians were asked in writing about in-house management of MRSA-colonised HCWs. The semi-standardised survey form contained questions about collaboration between the infection control team and the occupational physician, the involvement of the occupational physician in in-house management of MRSA carriers and the number of persistently colonised HCWs in 2011. The answers were intended to apply to the largest facility cared for by the occupational physician.

Results

207 occupational physicians took part in the survey (response rate 38%). In 2011, 73 (35%) occupational physicians were responsible for the occupational-medical management of an average of four MRSA-colonised HCWs. Eleven doctors (5.3% of 207) managed a total of 17 persistently colonised HCWs. One of these 17 employees was dismissed. In the case of MRSA carriage among HCWs, most occupational physicians cooperated with the infection control team (77%) and 39% of occupational physicians were responsible for the occupational-medical management of the affected carrier. 65% of facilities had specified policies for the management of MRSA-colonised HCWs. After the first MRSA-positive screening result, 79% of facilities attempt to decolonise the affected employee. In 6% of facilities, the colonised HCWs were excluded from work while receiving decolonisation treatment. In 54% of facilities, infection control policies demand the removal of MRSA carriers from patient care.

Conclusions

Not all facilities have policies for the management of MRSA-colonised HCWs and there are major differences in occupational consequences for the affected HCWs. In order to protect both the employees and the patients, standards for the in-house management of MRSA colonisation in HCWs should be developed.

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<![CDATA[Occupational airborne exposure, specific sensitization and the atopic status: evidence of a complex interrelationship]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da28ab0ee8fa60b8193e

Background

We have investigated the relationship between atopic status and long-term occupational exposure to latex proteins or methyl diethyl diisocyanate (MDI) as high and low molecular weight asthma-inducing agents, respectively.

Methods

This study is based on retrospective analyses of two groups of symptomatic outpatients: 184 healthcare workers with latex exposure and 156 workers with isocyanate (MDI) exposure. We analysed atopic and non-atopic subgroups according to exposure duration and the frequencies of specific sensitization.

Results

45% of the healthcare subgroup specifically sensitized to latex were atopic, whereas in the non-sensitized healthcare subgroup only 26% were atopic. On the other hand, subjects specifically sensitized to MDI were rarely atopic (only 15%), whereas in the subgroup non-sensitized to MDI atopy was present in 38%. After prolonged durations of exposure, the proportion of atopics was further elevated in most healthcare subgroups but it decreased in the MDI-exposed subjects.

Conclusions

We hypothesize that latex proteins as sensitizing agents might promote the development of atopy, whereas exposure to the low molecular weight MDI might inhibit the atopic status.

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<![CDATA[Skin protection creams in medical settings: successful or evil?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da5eab0ee8fa60b907b6

Background

Chronic exposure to mild irritants including cleansing and antiseptic products used for hand hygiene generates insults to the skin. To avoid unpleasant reactions, skin protection creams are commonly employed, but some fail to afford protection against a variety of xenobiotics. In this study, two skin protection creams were assayed comparatively looking for a protective effect if any against a liquid soap and an alcohol-based gel designed for hand hygiene in medical settings.

Methods

Corneosurfametry and corneoxenometry are two in vitro bioessays which were selected for their good reproducibility, sensitivity and ease of use. A Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA test followed by the Dunn test was realized to compare series of data obtained.

Results

Significant differences in efficacy were obtained between the two assayed skin protection creams. One of the two tested creams showed a real protective effect against mild irritants, but the other tested cream presented an irritant potential in its application with mild irritants.

Conclusion

The differences observed for the two tested skin protection creams were probably due to their galenic composition and their possible interactions with the offending products. As a result, the present in vitro bioassays showed contrasted effects of the creams corresponding to either a protective or an irritant effect on human stratum corneum.

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<![CDATA[Quantitative neurosensory findings, symptoms and signs in young vibration exposed workers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da44ab0ee8fa60b8af75

Background

Long-term exposure to hand-held vibrating tools may cause the hand arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) including vibration induced white fingers and sensorineural symptoms. The aim was to study early neurosensory effects by quantitative vibrotactile and monofilament tests in young workers with hand-held vibration exposure.

Methods

This cross-sectional study consisted of 142 young, male machine shop and construction workers with hand-held exposure to vibrating tools. They were compared with 41 non-vibration exposed subjects of the same age-group. All participants passed a structured interview, answered several questionnaires and had a physical examination including the determination of vibrotactile perception thresholds (VPTs) at two frequencies (31.5 and 125 Hz) and Semmes Weinstein’s Monofilament test.

Results

In the vibration exposed group 8% of the workers reported episodes of tingling sensations and 10% numbness in their fingers. Approximately 5–10% of the exposed population displayed abnormal results on monofilament tests. The vibrotactile testing showed significantly increased VPTs for 125 Hz in dig II bilaterally (right hand, p = 0.01; left hand, p = 0.024) in the vibration exposed group.

A multiple regression analysis (VPT - dependent variable; age, height, examiner and five different vibration dose calculations – predictor variables) in dig II bilaterally showed rather low R2-values. None of the explanatory variables including five separately calculated vibration doses were included in the models, neither for the total vibration exposed group, nor for the highest exposed quartile.

A logistic multiple regression analysis (result of monofilament testing - dependent variable; age, height, examiner and five vibration dose calculations – predictor variables) of the results of monofilament testing in dig II bilaterally gave a similar outcome. None of the independent variables including five calculated vibration doses were included in the models neither for the total exposed group nor for the highest exposed quartile.

Conclusion

In spite of the fairly short vibration exposure, a tendency to raised VPTs as well as pathologic monofilament test results was observed. Thus, early neurophysiologic symptoms and signs of vibration exposure may appear after short-term exposure also in young workers.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of the safety and immunogenicity in United Kingdom laboratory workers of a combined Haemophilus influenzae type b and meningococcal capsular group C conjugate vaccine]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97f29

Background

Although a combined Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)/meningococcal capsular group C (MenC) conjugate vaccine with a tetanus toxoid carrier protein (Hib/MenC-TT) is not licensed for use in those above 2 years of age due to lack of data on safety and efficacy, certain patient groups at high risk of MenC and/or Hib disease are recommended to receive it. Laboratory workers working with Hib and/or MenC cultures may be at a potentially increased risk of acquiring infectious diseases and vaccination is therefore an important safety consideration. We undertook a clinical trial to investigate the safety and immunogenicity of Hib/MenC-TT vaccine in this cohort.

Methods

A total of 33 subjects were recruited to the trial, all of whom were vaccinated. Serology was completed on samples taken at baseline and four weeks following vaccination to determine MenC specific IgG, MenC serum bactericidal antibody (SBA), anti-Hib polyribosylribitol phosphate (PRP) IgG and anti-tetanus toxoid IgG responses.

Results

At baseline, high proportions of subjects had protective antibody concentrations against MenC, Hib and tetanus due to previous vaccination and/or natural exposure. Vaccination induced > 3, 10 and 220 fold increases in geometric mean concentrations for MenC SBA, anti-tetanus toxoid IgG and anti-Hib PRP IgG, respectively. Following vaccination, 97% of subjects had putative protective SBA titres ≥ 8, 100% had short term protective anti-Hib PRP IgG concentrations ≥ 0.15 μg/mL and 97% had protective anti-tetanus toxoid concentrations ≥ 0.1 IU/mL. No safety concerns were reported with minor local reactions being reported by 21% of subjects.

Conclusions

Immunological responses determined in this trial are likely a combination of primary and secondary responses due to previous vaccination and natural exposure. Subjects were a representative cross-section of laboratory workers, enabling us to conclude that a single dose of Hib/MenC-TT was safe and immunogenic in healthy adults providing the evidence that this vaccine may be used for providing protection in an occupational setting.

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<![CDATA[The role of cumulative physical work load in symptomatic knee osteoarthritis &#8211; a case-control study in Germany]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989da0dab0ee8fa60b7850e

Objectives

To examine the dose-response relationship between cumulative exposure to kneeling and squatting as well as to lifting and carrying of loads and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (OA) in a population-based case-control study.

Methods

In five orthopedic clinics and five practices we recruited 295 male patients aged 25 to 70 with radiographically confirmed knee osteoarthritis associated with chronic complaints. A total of 327 male control subjects were recruited. Data were gathered in a structured personal interview. To calculate cumulative exposure, the self-reported duration of kneeling and squatting as well as the duration of lifting and carrying of loads were summed up over the entire working life.

Results

The results of our study support a dose-response relationship between kneeling/squatting and symptomatic knee osteoarthritis. For a cumulative exposure to kneeling and squatting > 10.800 hours, the risk of having radiographically confirmed knee osteoarthritis as measured by the odds ratio (adjusted for age, region, weight, jogging/athletics, and lifting or carrying of loads) is 2.4 (95% CI 1.1–5.0) compared to unexposed subjects. Lifting and carrying of loads is significantly associated with knee osteoarthritis independent of kneeling or similar activities.

Conclusion

As the knee osteoarthritis risk is strongly elevated in occupations that involve both kneeling/squatting and heavy lifting/carrying, preventive efforts should particularly focus on these "high-risk occupations".

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<![CDATA[Is it useful to combine sputum cytology and low-dose spiral computed tomography for early detection of lung cancer in formerly asbestos-exposed power industry workers?]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989dadfab0ee8fa60bbb521

Background

Low-dose spiral computed tomography (LDSCT) in comparison to conventional chest X-ray proved to be a highly sensitive method of diagnosing early stage lung cancer. However, centrally located early stage lung tumours remain a diagnostic challenge. We determined the practicability and efficacy of early detection of lung cancer when combining LDSCT and sputum cytology.

Methods

Of a cohort of 4446 formerly asbestos exposed power industry workers, we examined a subgroup of 187 (4.2%) high risk participants for lung cancer at least once with both LDSCT and sputum cytology. After the examination period the participants were followed-up for more than three years.

Results

The examinations resulted in the diagnosis of lung cancer in 12 participants (6.4%). Six were in clinical stage I. We found 10 non-small cell lung carcinomas and one small cell lung carcinoma. Sputum specimens showed suspicious pathological findings in seven cases and in 11 cases the results of LDSCT indicated malignancies. The overall sensitivity and specificity of sputum cytology was 58.0% and 98% with positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values of 70% and 97%. For LDSCT we calculated the sensitivity and specificity of 92% and 97%. The PPV and NPV were 65% and 99% respectively.

Conclusions

Our results confirmed that in surveillance programmes a combination of sputum cytology and LDSCT is well feasible and accepted by the participants. Sputum examination alone is not effective enough for the detection of lung cancer, especially at early stage. Even in well- defined risk groups highly exposed to asbestos, we cannot recommend the use of combined LDSCT and sputum cytology examinations as long as no survival benefit has been proved for the combination of both methods. For ensuring low rates of false-positive and false-negative results, programme planners must closely cooperate with experienced medical practitioners and pathologists in a well-functioning interdisciplinary network.

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<![CDATA[Association between mental demands at work and cognitive functioning in the general population &#8211; results of the health study of the Leipzig research center for civilization diseases (LIFE)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989d9ffab0ee8fa60b7395a

Background

The level of mental demands in the workplace is rising. The present study investigated whether and how mental demands at work are associated with cognitive functioning in the general population.

Methods

The analysis is based on data of the Health Study of the Leipzig Research Centre for Civilization Disease (LIFE). 2,725 participants aged 40–80 years underwent cognitive testing (Trail-Making Test, Verbal Fluency Test) and provided information on their occupational situation. Participants over the age of 65 years additionally completed the Mini-Mental State Examination. Mental demands at work were rated by a standardized classification system (O*NET). The association between mental demands and cognitive functioning was analyzed using Generalized Linear Modeling (GENLIN) adjusted for age, gender, self-regulation, working hour status, education, and health-related factors.

Results

Univariate as well as multivariate analyses demonstrated significant and highly consistent effects of higher mental demands on better performance in cognitive testing. The results also indicated that the effects are independent of education and intelligence. Moreover, analyses of retired individuals implied a significant association between high mental demands at work of the job they once held and a better cognitive functioning in old age.

Conclusions

In sum, our findings suggest a significant association between high mental demands at work and better cognitive functioning. In this sense, higher levels of mental demands – as brought about by technological changes in the working environment – may also have beneficial effects for the society as they could increase cognitive capacity levels and might even delay cognitive decline in old age.

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<![CDATA[The effects of a medical hypnotherapy on clothing industry employees suffering from chronic pain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/product?articleinfo=5989db48ab0ee8fa60bd932b

Background

Problems associated with pain in several body regions due to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WRMDs), repetitive movement and negative stress at work are quite common in many manufacturing industries of Latvia, int.al. clothing industry. The aim of this study was to evaluate efficiency of the psychotherapeutic intervention using medical hypnotherapy (MH) program for mind-body relaxation with pain-blocking imagery, cognitive restructuring of unpleasant physical and emotional experience.

Methods

300 sewers and 50 cutters with chronic pain were involved in the study. Self-rated WRMDs symptoms, pain intensity and interference were assessed using the extended version of Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire and Brief Pain Inventory Scale. Assessment of the functional state of muscles was carried out using myotonometric (MYO) measurements. Work heaviness degree was estimated via heart rate monitoring (HRM). The MH program was composed of cognitive hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis training. Sunnen Trance Scale was used to determine person’s hypnotic susceptibility. Life quality assessment before and after MH program was carried out using Quality of Life Scale.

Results

At the beginning of MH program sessions both sewers and cutters reported on pain interference with general activities, mood, sleep, normal work, etc., but after MH the interference of pain significantly decreased. HRM data confirmed that work heaviness degree of sewers and cutters can be referred to as light and moderate work (energy expenditure for their tasks varies from 3.4 till 4.7 kcal/min). Using MYO measurements it was stated that before MH 22% of workers involved in the study fell under III MYO category indices, consequently, their muscle tone was increased, which is associated with muscular fatigue. After MH muscle tone remained within the normal range meaning that they were able to adapt to the existing workload (II MYO category) or fully relax (I MYO category).

Conclusions

MH program including exercises-workouts, cognitive hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis training sessions is an effective method to decrease composite chronic pain intensity for sewers and cutters, as well as to decrease psychogenic tension and muscle fatigue (proved by objective measurements of muscles tone) and to increase the life quality.

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