Occupational medical history taking: how are today's physicians doing? A cross-sectional investigation of the frequency of occupational history taking by physicians in a major US teaching center.
Politi-BJ; Arena-VC; Schwerha-J; Sussman-N
J Occup Environ Med 2004 Jun; 46(6):550-555
Occupational illness plays a prominent role in the health of society, yet physicians frequently neglect occupational history-taking both in clinical practice and in medical education. This study sought to examine the trends as well as related factors that influence the taking of occupationally related histories. A total of 2050 charts were reviewed for occupational information as well as several patient demographics. Physicians obtained gender and age histories in approximately 99% of their patients; however; they only completed an occupational history in 27.8%. Characteristics such as smoking, mate gender, family cancer history, middle age, and medical (vs. surgical) admission were all correlated with obtaining an occupational history. Physicians continue to do a poor job of occupational history-taking and medical education must correct the situation.
Medical-examinations; Health-care; Surveillance-programs; Questionnaires; Demographic-characteristics
Joseph J. Schwerha, MD, MPH, University of Pittsburgh, Room A716 De Soto St. Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
University of Pittsburgh