Evidence on the effectiveness of occupational health interventions

Am J Ind Med. 2006 Oct;49(10):865-72. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20371.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Controlled Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Promotion*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Occupational Health*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Design
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control