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Overcoming practical challenges in intervention research in occupational health and safety.

Authors
LaMontagne-AD; Needleman-C
Source
Am J Ind Med 1996 Apr; 29(4):367-372
NIOSHTIC No.
00230661
Abstract
Overcoming practical challenges when performing intervention research in occupational health and safety was discussed. When performing interventions directed at developing and evaluating ways to correct identified work hazards, researchers must operate in real workplaces and communities where controllable research conditions are the exception rather than the rule. Intervention researchers will be confronted by a number of practical challenges including gaining access to study population, maximizing participation rates, providing valid answers to sensitive questions, and meeting ethical obligations when health or legal problems are discovered during the course of the study. Strategies for addressing these challenges were discussed and illustrated by a retrospective evaluation of the implementation of the 1984 OSHA ethylene-oxide (75218) standard in Massachusetts hospitals. Access was gained to the study population, sterilization department managers, by demonstrating the expertise of the researchers, demonstrating the relevancy of the research, and obtaining the sponsorship of two professional hospital management organizations. Maximizing subject participation was achieved by promising the study subjects summary reports of the study findings, listening to their concerns, and developing rapport with the subjects. Sensitive questions were dealt with by maintaining repeated contact with the subjects and collecting data in progressive levels of detail. The challenge of meeting ethical obligations was met by anticipating hazards that might be discovered, developing methods to intervene within the context of the study if any hazards were discovered, and developing strategies for addressing imminent danger situations. In the actual study, a participation rate of 96% was achieved. Ethical considerations were dealt with by linking the research to a service whereby a free health and safety consultation was to be offered to each hospital after the study was completed. No imminent danger situations were detected during the study.
Keywords
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Occupational-health-programs; Disease-prevention; Sociological-factors; Epoxides; Disinfectants; Health-care-facilities
Contact
Environmental Health Harvard Sch of Public Hlth 665 Huntington Ave Boston, MA 02115
CODEN
AJIMD8
CAS No.
75-21-8
Publication Date
19960401
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
29767
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
1996
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R03-OH-03088
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
0271-3586
Priority Area
Other Occupational Concerns; Grants-other
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
MA
Performing Organization
Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts
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