The Occupation Questionnaire Section (prefix OCQ; questions OCD150 to OCQ580) contains Sample Person interview data on employment and variables relating to the work environment.
OCQ Section Topics:
- Data for Sample Person’s Current Job (OCD230-OCD270): weekly hours worked, public vs. private sector, industry and occupation group, duration of employment, and workshift data (usual work schedule).
- Exposure to Workplace Tobacco Smoke at the Current Job (OCQ290G/OCQ290Q)
- Data for the Sample Person’s Longest Job (OCD390G-OCD 395): industry and occupation group, duration of employment.
- Data for the Sample Person’s Lifetime History of Exposure to Mineral and Organic Dusts, Gases, Fumes, and Vapors in the Workplace (OCQ510-OCQ580; administered to those ages 16-79 years).
In the 2007-2008 survey, the OCQ Questionnaire was administered to a full sample of survey participants 16+ years of age.
Interview Setting and Mode of Administration
These questions were asked, in the home, by trained interviewers using the Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) system. Persons 16 years of age are interviewed directly.
Quality Assurance & Quality Control
The CAPI system is programmed with built-in consistency checks to reduce data entry errors. CAPI also uses online help screens to assist interviewers in defining key terms used in the questionnaire. During the 2007-2008 data collection cycle, periodic QC checks were performed on the Occupation questionnaire data being collected and interviewer specific feedback and retraining was performed as appropriate.
Data Processing and Editing
A subject’s questionnaire interview responses were entered into a pentop computer and then uploaded into a computerized database in the same manner as other sections of the Sample Person Questionnaire. The data was then edited for completeness, consistency, and illogical values.
In general, analysts are advised to carefully review the question wording in the OCQ codebook also to make sure they understand question skip patterns and the definitions employed for Occupation-related variables. Some OCQ questions need to be considered as an integral part of data collection for other questionnaire sections, exam or laboratory Components.
Please note that military occupations are not permissible entries for NHANES current job data because for NHANES, only the civilian, non-institutionalized population is eligible to participate in the survey. However, civilian employees of the armed forces are included in the NHANES survey sample and military occupations are valid entries for the survey participant’s longest job data.
Current Job Information:
The primary focus of the OCQ Questionnaire is data collection for the participant’s work within the previous week, i.e. the participant’s Current Job. The participant’s Current Job is defined as the main paid job worked within the last week, including work on a family farm. When an individual currently worked multiple jobs, the participant was asked to designate one main job for the interview. Data collected included:
• The Number of Hours Worked Last Week- All Jobs
• Whether the Participant Usually Works 35 or More Hours/Week
• Sector Of Employment (Private, Public)
• Number Of Months Worked on the Current, Main Job
• The Main Reason The Participant Did Not Work Last Week (If not currentlyworking)
• A History of Workplace Tobacco Smoke Exposure
• The Participant's Usual Work Schedule/Workshift
In NHANES, data for exposure to workplace tobacco smoke is collected only for the participant’s Current Job. Exposure to tobacco smoke is defined as when the participant can smell tobacco smoke at work. Also collected is the self-reported number of hours/day of workplace tobacco exposure (OCQ290Q). A value of “0” in OCQ290Q signifies that workplace exposure to tobacco smoke occurred, but was less than one hour per day. Related data to these OCQ questions are the SMQ questionnaire and laboratory data for serum cotinine.
Longest Job Information:
In NHANES 2007-08, both industry and occupation data and duration of employment were collected for the subject’s longest job. Industry information is also available in instances where the longest job is the same as the current job (OCD390G=2), or was the armed forces (OCD390G=3). Previous survey research has shown a moderate correlation exists between a respondent’s current and longest reported jobs (Burnett and Crouse, 1989).
In NHANES 2007-08, additional questions were asked regarding a lifetime history of exposure to mineral and organic dusts, gases, fumes, and vapors (OCQ510-OCQ580). These questions were added to the survey as a part of an expanded respiratory health data collection for those survey years.
The OCQ data were collected as part of the household questionnaire and therefore the full sample NHANES interview weights WTINT2YR should be used for statistical analysis. However, if the OCQ data are merged with the MEC exam or laboratory data, then NHANES examination sample weights WTMEC2YR should be used for analyses.
Please refer to the NHANES Analytic Guidelines and the on-line NHANES Tutorial for further details on the use of sample weights and other analytic issues.
Related NHANES 2007-08 Data:
There are occupation-related items in the NHANES Physical Functioning questionnaire (PFQ_E: PFQ049 and PFQ051) and a question on veteran's status/military service in the Sample Person Demographics data file (DEMO_E: DMQMILIT). In NHANES 2007-08 Respiratory Health data was also collected: the dataset SPX_E contains Spirometry exam data; ENX_E containes data on exhaled nitric oxide measurements; MCQ_E contains questionnaire data on a prior medical diagnosis of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; and RDQ_E contains data on recent respiratory symptoms. Additional resource reference material is available for other NHANES and National Center for Health Statistics Occupation datasets (Wagener 1993).