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figure showing skeleton and musculature


Outcomes are events, occurrences, or conditions that indicate progress toward achievement of the purpose of the program. Outcomes reflect the results of a program activity compared to its intended purpose, or answer the question "Will these resources result or contribute to the success of what we want to accomplish?"

Outcomes can be viewed from two different perspectives--ultimate and intermediate. For an occupational safety and health research program like NIOSH, end outcomes are reductions in a particular type of worker injury or disease. Injuries and illnesses have complex causes, and any effect of program activities on rates can take years to be seen. Therefore, outcomes are often measured on an intermediate timeframe. Intermediate outcomes are necessary steps that lead to ultimate outcomes, e.g., reductions in the risk of a particular type of injury or illness. For occupational safety and health research programs, achieving intermediate risk reductions is as important as achieving the ultimate outcome of decreases in injury and illness incidence rates.

Visit this site in the future to view specific examples of outcomes achieved by NIOSH research projects on musculoskeletal disorders. The NIOSH MSD-Cross Sector Program will begin to systematically collect intermediate outcome and end outcome information over the coming year. We are interested in any examples where use of NIOSH research contributed to an outcome. Please contact the NIOSH MSD-Cross-Sector Program to share examples.