The Evidence-based Approach for Occupational Health Professionals (6001)

A NIVA Program

March 22 – 24, 2010

Organized by: Nordic Institute for Advanced Training in Occupational Health (NIVA)

Co-sponsored by: ICOH: Scientific Committee on Cardiology in Occupational Health and ICOH Scientific Committee on Occupational Medicine

Work Matters


March 15 – 17, 2010

Effects of Job Strain on Blood Pressure: A Prospective Study of Male and Female White-Collar Workers

Chantal Guimont, MD, PhD, Chantal Brisson, PhD, Gilles R. Dagenais, MD, FRCP, Alain Milot, MD, MSc, FRCP, Michel Vézina, MD, MPH, FRCP, Benoît Mâsse, PhD, Jocelyne Moisan, PhD, Nathalie Laflamme, PhD, and Caty Blanchette, MS

American Journal of Public Health | August 2006, Vol 96, No. 8

Objectives. We evaluated whether cumulative exposure to job strain increases blood pressure.

Methods. A prospective study of 8395 white-collar workers was initiated during 1991 to 1993. At follow-up, 7.5 years later, 84% of the participants were reassessed to estimate cumulative exposure to job strain.

Results. Compared with men who had never been exposed, men with cumulative exposure and those who became exposed during follow-up showed significant systolic blood pressure increments of 1.8 mm Hg (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.1, 3.5) and 1.5 mm Hg (95% CI= 0.2, 2.8), respectively, and relative risks of blood pressure increases in the highest quintile group of 1.33 (95% CI= 1.01, 1.76) and 1.40 (95% CI= 1.14, 1.73). Effect magnitudes were smaller among women. Effects tended to be more pronounced among men and women with low levels of social support at work.

Conclusions. Among these white-collar workers, exposure to cumulative job strain had a modest but significant effect on systolic blood pressure among men. The risk was of comparable magnitude to that observed for age and sedentary behavior. Men and women with low levels of social support at work appeared to be at higher risk for increases in blood pressure. (Am J Public Health. 2006;96: 1436–1443. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.057679

Click here for a pdf of the full article. 

Work organization interventions: state of knowledge and future directions

Lawrence R. Murphy, Steven L. Sauter

Dr. Murphy is research psychologist and Dr. Sauter is supervisory research psychologist at the National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati


Changes taking place in the modern workplace, such as more flexible and lean production technologies, flatter management structures, and nontraditional employment practices fundamentally alter work organization factors and raise concerns about potentially negative influences on worker health and safety. These changes raise concerns about adverse effects on worker safety and health and call attention to the need for interventions to counter these effects. This forum article provides an overview of work organization intervention research, highlights gaps in the research literature, and sets forth an agenda for future intervention research. Research to date has focused primarily on individual-level interventions, with far less attention to interventions at the legislative/policy level, employer/organization level, and job/task level. Future research is recommended to establish the effectiveness of work organization interventions using improved methodological designs and giving increased attention to the circumstances within organizations that promote the adoption of such interventions.

Click here for a pdf of the full article.

Fifth International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases

“New Paradigms for New Systems of Work:  A Challenge for the Quality of Work Life”

September 27-30, 2009

Cracow, Poland

California Work and Health Group (CWHG) Mission Statement

Drafted by: Karen Belkic, Paul Landsbergis and Peter Schnall

What is our purpose for doing research?

  • To prevent ill-health
  • To make healthy work a reality
  • To help humanize the workplace

How is this research to be conducted?

  • Based on sound scientific principles.
  • With rigorous criteria of reliability, validity and study design.
  • With ethics, ethics, ethics (explicate).
  • With recognition of the difficulties of the conduction of psychosocial stress research.
  • With participatory research which involves employees and employers in the research process & in their own salutogenesis.
  • Coordinated with other centers of research aiming toward multicenter intervention trials.
  • With researchers that are interactive and egalitarian.
  • With colleagues from other groups to co-author papers in their areas of expertise.
  • With an international perspective.
  • Collaboratively with trade unions, businesses and government agencies.

What are our responsibilities?

  • To all working people in their efforts to humanize the work place.
  • To enter public debate by the dissemination of our research findings through scientific journal articles and public education materials.
  • To oppose classism, sexism and racism in our own professional work.
  • To be prepared to debate social issues and challenge the systems that maintain the status quo at the expense of one group over another.
  • To exercise and/or develop scientific solidarity.
  • To maximize intellectual debate and dialog.
  • To provide support for each other and concrete aid in our efforts.
  • To be open on our parts to feedback.
  • To be honest about the limitations of our work.
  • To provide opportunities to discuss and reflect about difficult issues.
  • To review each others articles.
  • To acknowledgment each others reviews.
  • To respect each others work in progress (scientific integrity).
  • To challenge the dominant mode of doing research, where someone else’s success is a threat to ourselves.
  • On the contrary, To celebrate each others success.

The Evaluation of an Individual Burnout Intervention Program: The Role of Inequity and Social Support

D i r k v a n D i e r e n d o n c k 
Helen Dowling Institute

W i l m a r B . S c h a u f e l i 
Utrecht University

B r a m E B u u n k 
University o f Groningen

This study evaluated a 5-week, group-based burnout intervention program among direct-care professionals working with mentally disabled individuals. Equity theory was used as the theoretical framework. The main objective o f the program was to reduce perceptions of inequity in the relationship with the organization and with the recipients o f care by increasing the fit between the professional’s goals and expectations and the actual work situation. One experimental group and 2 control groups participated. All 3 groups filled out 3 questionnaires: be for e the program started, 6 months later, and 1 year later. Individual absenteeism rates were assessed for 1 year before and after the program. Results showed that in the experimental group burnout, absence, and deprived feelings diminished compared with the control groups. The most profound effects were among participants who could draw on social resources to benefit f rom the intervention.

Click here for a pdf of the full article.

“What does Obama’s Win Mean for Workplace Health and Safety?”

An interesting article entitled “What does Obama’s Win Mean for Workplace Health and Safety?” has been posted on the Environmental Health & Safety Today website. Some interesting points from the article:

“The Developing World and State Education:…”

Esteemed colleague Ellen Rosskam has co-edited a volume in the Rotuledge Studies in Education and Neoliberalism Series entitled “The Developing World and State Education: Neoliberal Depredation and Egalitarian Alternatives“.

“Job Strain as a Predictor of Disability Pension:…”

A new article by Laine et al, “Job Strain as a Predictor of Disability Pension: The Finnish Public Sector Study”

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