Background: At present there exists no overview of the range of evidence currently available regarding the effectiveness of occupational health interventions (OHI).
Methods: Articles published in 2000 and 2001 in 16 general and specialized biomedical journals were searched for evaluations of OHI studies.
Results: Out of 8,687 articles searched there were 148 OHI studies. In 21% of the studies the study design was a randomized controlled trial, in 28% it was a controlled trial, an interrupted time-series in 7% and a different design in 44%. The occupational health outcome was exposure in 27% of the studies, worker behavior in 12%, disease symptoms in 30%, disability or sickness absence in 24%, injuries in 4%, and quality of care in 3%.
Conclusions: High quality evaluation studies are conducted in all areas of occupational health. However, it is clear that more are needed and the methodology used could be improved.