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  • 1. Bramberg, Elisabeth Bjork
    et al.
    Nyman, Teresia
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics. Unit of Intervention and Implementation Research for Worker Health, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Medical Sciences, Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.
    Kwak, Lydia
    Alipour, Akbar
    Bergstrom, Gunnar
    Elinder, Liselotte Schafer
    Hermansson, Ulric
    Jensen, Irene
    Development of evidence-based practice in occupational health services in Sweden: a 3-year follow-up of attitudes, barriers and facilitators2017In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 90, no 4, p. 335-348Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish government initiated an investigation of how to secure and develop the competence of the occupational health services. The primary aim of the present study was to investigate whether the development of evidence-based practice (EBP) in the Swedish occupational health services in relation to attitudes, knowledge and use improved during the first 3 years of the government's initiative. The study has a mixed methods design combining questionnaires and interviews with data collection at baseline and at 3-year follow-up. The response rate was 66% at baseline and 63% at follow-up. The results show that practitioners' knowledge of EBP was moderate at baseline and improved at follow-up (p = 0.002; 95% CI 0.01; 0.21). Practitioners experienced lower levels of organizational and managerial support for EBP at follow-up (p < 0.001; 95% CI 0.18; 0.38). The results revealed that managers viewed responsibility for implementing EBP as a matter for individual practitioners rather than as an organizational issue. Occupational health service managers and practitioners are generally positive to EBP. However, the findings emphasize the need to educate managers in how to support EBP at the organizational level by creating an infrastructure for EBP in the OHS.

  • 2.
    Dellve, Lotta
    et al.
    Sahlgrenska akademin, Göteborgs universitet.
    Ahlstrom, Linda
    Sandsjö, Leif
    Forsman, Mikael
    Lindegård, Agneta
    Ahlstrand, Chris
    Kadefors, Roland
    Hagberg, Mats
    Myofeedback training and intensive muscular strength training to improve work ability and decrease pain among female workers on long term sick leave with neck pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial2011In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 84, no 3, p. 335-346Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The theoretical framework is that muscle tension in the neck is related to insufficient muscular rest and is a risk factor for chronic pain and reduced work ability. Promoting muscle strength and muscle rest may increase work ability and reduce neck pain. To test whether myofeedback training or intensive strength training leads to decreased pain and increased work ability in women on long-term sick leave. This is a randomized controlled trial of two 1-month interventions with myofeedback or muscular strength training in the home environment. Female human service organization workers (n = 60) on long-term (> 60 days) sick leave and with chronic neck pain were followed with self-reported and laboratory-observed data of health, pain, muscular activation, and work ability, at baseline, immediately after the intervention and 3 months after baseline. For both intervention groups, pain was lowered over time compared with the control group. Decreased pain and muscular activity was associated with increased self-rated work ability and with laboratory-observed work ability at 3-month follow-up. Decreased pain was also associated with increased self-rated work ability at 1-month follow-up. Muscular strength training was associated with increased self-rated work ability and mental health. Myofeedback was associated with increased observed work ability and self- rated vitality. The two interventions showed positive results, suggesting that they could be developed for use in health care practice to address pain and work ability. The intensive muscular strength training program, which is both easy to conduct at home and easy to coach, was associated with increased work ability.

  • 3.
    Dellve, Lotta
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Health Systems Engineering, Ergonomics. Högskolan i Borås, Sweden.
    Fallman, S. L.
    Ahlstrom, L.
    Return to work from long-term sick leave: a six-year prospective study of the importance of adjustment latitudes at work and home2015In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 89, no 1, p. 171-179Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The aim was to investigate the long-term importance of adjustment latitude for increased work ability and return to work among female human service workers on long-term sick leave. Methods: A cohort of female human service workers on long-term sick leave (>60 days) was given a questionnaire four times (0, 6, 12, 60 months). Linear mixed models were used for longitudinal analysis of the repeated measurements of work ability and return to work. Results: Having a higher level of adjustment latitude was associated with both increased work ability and return to work. Adjustments related to work pace were strongly associated with increased work ability, as were adjustments to the work place. Having individual opportunities for taking short breaks and a general acceptance of taking short breaks were associated with increased work ability. At home, a higher level of responsibility for household work was related to increased work ability and return to work. Individuals with possibilities for adjustment latitude, especially pace and place at work, and an acceptance of taking breaks had greater increased work ability over time and a greater work ability compared with individuals who did not have such opportunities.Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of opportunities for adjustment latitude at work to increase work ability and return to work among female human service workers who have been on long-term sick leave. The results support push and pull theories for individual decision-making on return to work.

  • 4. Eklof, M.
    et al.
    Hagberg, M.
    Toomingas, Allan
    Wigaeus Tornqvist, Ewa
    Feedback of workplace data to individual workers, workgroups or supervisors as a way to stimulate working environment activity: a cluster randomized controlled study2004In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 77, no 7, p. 505-514Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To test whether feedback and discussion of ergonomic and psychosocial working-environment data during one short session with individual, groups or supervisors of white-collar computer workers had an effect on activity to modify workplace design, working technique and psychosocial aspects of work. Methods: A total of 36 workgroups from nine organizations representing different trades was randomized (stratified for organization) to three feedback conditions or control with no feedback. Data were collected I month before and 6 months after feedback sessions. The effects studied were: (1) change in the proportion of workgroup members who reported any modification regarding workplace design or working technique; (2) change in the proportion of workgroup members who reported any modification regarding psychosocial aspects; (3) average number of modification types regarding workplace design or working technique per individual in a workgroup; (4) average number of modification types regarding psychosocial aspects per individual in a workgroup. Results: All feedback conditions differed positively from controls regarding change in the proportion of workgroup members who reported any modification in workplace design or working technique. No such effect was found for psychosocial aspects. For change in average number of psychosocial modification types per individual in a workgroup an effect was observed for feedback to supervisors. No intervention effect was observed for the average number of modifications in workplace design or working technique per individual in a workgroup. Conclusion: Feedback and discussion of ergonomic and psychosocial working-environment data during one short session with individual, groups or supervisors of white-collar computer workers may have a positive effect on how many people in a workgroup modify (or have modifications done regarding) workplace design and working technique. Feedback to supervisors may have an effect on the average number of psychosocial modification types per individual in a workgroup. Feedback to group supervisors appeared to be the most cost-effective variant.

  • 5. Smedje, G.
    et al.
    Wang, J.
    Norbäck, D.
    Nilsson, Håkan
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Civil and Architectural Engineering, Building Service and Energy Systems.
    Engvall, K.
    SBS symptoms in relation to dampness and ventilation in inspected single-family houses in Sweden2017In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 90, no 7, p. 703-711Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: To investigate the relationships between symptoms compatible with the sick building syndrome (SBS) in adults and building dampness and ventilation in single-family houses. Methods: Within the Swedish BETSI study, a national sample of single-family houses were inspected by professional building experts, and adults living in the houses answered a questionnaire on SBS. Relationships between building factors and SBS were analysed using logistic regression. Results: Of the respondents, 23% reported having had weekly SBS symptoms during the last three months. A large proportion of houses exhibited building or construction problems. In total, 40% of houses had dampness problems in the foundation, and this was related to a higher prevalence of both mucous and dermal symptoms, and any SBS symptoms. Furthermore, high air humidity was related to more symptoms, with the relationship with absolute humidity being stronger than that with relative humidity or moisture load. Symptoms were also more prevalent in houses with a high U value, reflecting a poor thermal insulation. Compared to natural ventilation, living in a house with mechanical supply and exhaust ventilation was related to a lower prevalence of general symptoms and any SBS symptoms, but there were only weak associations between measured air exchange rate and symptoms. Conclusions: A large proportion of single-family houses have dampness problems in the foundation, and pollutants may enter the living space of the house and affect the health of the occupants. Furthermore, absolute air humidity should be measured more often in indoor air studies.

  • 6.
    Wigaeus Tornqvist, Ewa
    et al.
    KTH, School of Technology and Health (STH), Ergonomics.
    Hagberg, Mats
    Hagman, Maud
    Risberg, Eva Hansson
    Toomingas, Allan
    The influence of working conditions and individual factors on the incidence of neck and upper limb symptoms among professional computer users2009In: International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, ISSN 0340-0131, E-ISSN 1432-1246, Vol. 82, no 6, p. 689-702Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To assess the influence of working conditions and individual factors on the incidence of neck and upper limb symptoms among professional computer users. The study is a prospective cohort study with an observation period of 10 months. A baseline questionnaire about symptoms in the neck, shoulder and arm/hand during previous month, individual factors, work content, physical and psychosocial work-related exposures was answered by 1,283 computer operators (response rate 84%). Incidence data were collected by ten monthly questionnaires regarding the occurrence of symptoms categorized into three gross body regions: neck, shoulders and arms/hands. A case, in the specific gross body region, was defined as a subject who was classified as non-symptomatic in that region at baseline or during minimum one follow-up period and later reported symptoms (a parts per thousand yen3 days). Univariable and multivariable incidence rate ratios with 95% confidence intervals for first occurrence of neck, shoulder and arm/hand cases, respectively, were calculated with Cox regression analysis. The incidence rate was 67, 41 and 47 cases per 100 person years for neck, shoulder and arm/hand symptoms, respectively. In the multivariable analyses, comfort of the computer work environment and gender were related to the incidence of symptoms in all body regions (RR = 1.5-1.9 for low comfort and 1.8-2.1 for females, respectively). Duration of mouse use predicted arm/hand symptoms (RR = 1.7 for a parts per thousand yen3 h/day) and job strain (high demands and low decision latitude) predicted neck symptoms (RR = 1.6 and 2.2 for medium and high strain, respectively). Additionally, age was related to neck and shoulder symptoms. Preventive strategies to reduce neck and upper limb symptoms among computer users should include measures to reduce mouse use, to increase the comfort of the work environment and to reduce job strain. Although the effect estimates were relatively weak to moderate, preventive measures may have a marked impact on the incidence of neck and upper limb symptoms in the general population because of the widespread use of computers in working life as well as at home.

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