Assessing the contribution of working conditions to socioeconomic disparities in health: a commentary

Am J Ind Med. 2010 Feb;53(2):95-103. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20766.


Introduction: Occupational health researchers can play a pivotal role in increasing our understanding of the role of physical and psychosocial working conditions in producing socioeconomic health disparities and trends of increasing socioeconomic health disparities, contributing to interventions to reduce such disparities, and helping to improve public education materials on this subject. However, a number of methodological challenges in this field need to be considered.

Methods: Commentary, including a review of selected studies.

Results/conclusion: Research needs to be guided by models of the associations between social (socioeconomic position (SEP), race/ethnicity, immigration status, and gender) and occupational variables and health, to avoid inappropriate control for confounding, and to specify causal pathways (mediation) and interaction effects. Different approaches to the theory and measurement of SEP also need to be tested.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational*
  • Age Distribution
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities / economics*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health*
  • Socioeconomic Factors