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An Epidemiological Approach for Practice.

Moreland R
NIOSH 1987 Jul:131-138
Epidemiology and its relationship to occupational health nursing were discussed. The uses of epidemiology in the practice of occupational health nursing were summarized. Epidemiological procedures permit the occupational health nurse to evaluate causal mechanisms for changes in the health status of the work force. Workers who are at high risk for developing certain diseases can be identified and placed under medical surveillance. Epidemiologic considerations allow the occupational health nurse to evaluate medical surveillance programs and investigate any cluster of changes in the health status of the work force. Types of epidemiologic approaches of concern to the occupational health nurse were discussed. These include investigating causal connections between diseases and factors such as extent of exposure, genetic predispositions, or environmental conditions; assessing the effects of changes in exposure on the work force; and identifying subjects for other studies by the presence or absence of disease or symptomatology. Most occupational health nurses use epidemiologic techniques, often without realizing it, when evaluating worker health problems. As an example of utilizing epidemiologic techniques to solve an occupational health problem, a case of overexposure to dimethylaminopropionitrile (1738256) (DMAPN) occurring at a polyurethane manufacturing facility (SIC-2821) in Maryland was described. After receiving reports of nausea, dizziness, and other symptoms, the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Program of the Division of Labor and Industry initiated an investigation. DMAPN, a constituent of the catalyst used in the process, was finally identified as the causative agent after the signs, symptoms, temporal clues, and associations between work areas and shifts were carefully documented. The symptoms were compared and found to be similar to those induced by DMAPN in laboratory animals.
Occupational-health-nursing; Biostatistics; Health-protection; Occupational-exposure; Medical-research; Clinical-symptoms; Industrial-hygiene; Organo-nitrogen-compounds;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Horvitz IA;
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Infectious Diseases; Disease and Injury;
SIC Code
Source Name
Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Nursing Symposium: State of the Art and Directions for the Future, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1-3, 1983
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division