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Effect assessment in work environment interventions: A methodological reflection
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5338-0586
KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
2010 (English)In: Ergonomics, ISSN 0014-0139, E-ISSN 1366-5847, Vol. 53, no 1, 130-137 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses a number of issues for work environment intervention (WEI) researchers in light of the mixed results reported in the literature. If researchers emphasise study quality over intervention quality, reviews that exclude case studies with high quality and multifactorial interventions may be vulnerable to 'quality criteria selection bias'. Learning from 'failed' interventions is inhibited by both publication bias and reporting lengths that limit information on relevant contextual and implementation factors. The authors argue for the need to develop evaluation approaches consistent with the complexity of multifactorial WEIs that: a) are owned by and aimed at the whole organisation; and b) include intervention in early design stages where potential impact is highest. Context variety, complexity and instability in and around organisations suggest that attention might usefully shift from generalisable 'proof of effectiveness' to a more nuanced identification of intervention elements and the situations in which they are more likely to work as intended. Statement of Relevance: This paper considers ergonomics interventions from perspectives of what constitutes quality and 'proofo. It points to limitations of traditional experimental intervention designs and argues that the complexity of organisational change, and the need for multifactorial interventions that reach deep into work processes for greater impact, should be recognised.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 53, no 1, 130-137 p.
Keyword [en]
ergonomics intervention, macroergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, research methodology, prevent musculoskeletal disorders, low-back-pain, ergonomic, intervention, mechanical exposure, publication bias, risk-factors, management, health, macroergonomics, performance
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-19112DOI: 10.1080/00140130903349914ISI: 000273610600012ScopusID: 2-s2.0-73949084941OAI: diva2:337159
QC 20100525Available from: 2010-08-05 Created: 2010-08-05 Last updated: 2011-01-27Bibliographically approved

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