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DOCTORS SHOULD ASK ‘WHAT WORK DO YOU DO?’
Posted on 9 February 2023
Asking what job a person does is ‘critical’ to addressing social inequalities in health, a new academic paper has concluded. ‘With work now being a recognised social determinant of health, use of work and employment information, including industry and occupation, is a critical component of core public health surveillance systems,’ stated researchers led by Karla Armenti of the University of New Hampshire (https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/20/2/1199) .
‘Collection of these variables is important both for routine surveillance activities and crisis responses.’ Owen Tudor, deputy general secretary of the global union confederation ITUC, said the paper ‘is important given the International Labour Organisation (ILO) recognition that a safe and healthy workplace is a fundamental right for workers. Crucial for the World Health Organisation (WHO) as well. Doctors need to ask people routinely 'what work do you do?'.’
Acesse o pdf Work Social determinant
Vejam o abstract do artigo
"Abstract: Work is a recognized social determinant of health. This became most apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers, particularly those in certain industries and occupations, were at risk due to interaction with the public and close proximity to co-workers. The purpose of this study was to assess how states collected work and employment data on COVID-19 cases, characterizing the need for systematic collection of case-based specific work and employment data, including industry and occupation, of COVID-19 cases. A survey was distributed among state occupational health contacts and epidemiologists in all 50 states to assess current practices in state public health surveillance systems. Twenty-seven states collected some kind of work and employment information from COVID-19 cases. Most states (93%) collected industry and/or occupation information. More than half used text-only fields, a predefined reference or dropdown list, or both. Use of work and employment data included identifying high risk populations, prioritizing vaccination efforts, and assisting with reopening plans. Reported barriers to collecting industry and occupation data were lack of staffing, technology issues, and funding. Scientific understanding of work-related COVID-19 risk requires the systematic, case-based collection of specific work and employment data, including industry and occupation. While this alone does not necessarily indicate a clear workplace exposure, collection of these data elements can help to determine and further prevent workplace outbreaks, thereby ensuring the viability of the nation’s critical infrastructure."