208143 Contributions of research and surveillance to the understanding of work-related asthma in the healthcare industry

Wednesday, November 11, 2009: 11:00 AM

Paul K. Henneberger, ScD , Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, NIOSH/CDC, Morgantown, WV
Both research and surveillance provide valuable knowledge about work-related asthma (WRA). The goal of this presentation is to explore how these two approaches have contributed to our understanding of WRA in healthcare, which has been observed to have an elevated prevalence of this disease. Surveillance is the routine collection, processing, interpretation, and dissemination of information about diseases or hazards, and is usually conducted in a defined geographical area such as a state, province, or entire nation. Knowledge gained from surveillance should be provided to those who can use it to conduct further investigations or plan and implement interventions. Research studies are not routine, and usually are more hypothesis driven, more limited in where they are conducted, and able to collect more detailed information about exposures and health outcomes. Surveillance can contribute to the initial identification of an emerging problem and document the effectiveness of interventions, as seen with the example of powdered natural rubber latex gloves in healthcare. The findings from surveillance can motivate and guide research studies, which then yield additional insight into options for prevention. It is necessary to have both surveillance and research programs to maximize the information that directs the prevention of WRA.

Learning Objectives:
Determine how research and surveillance have contributed to the understanding and prevention of work-related asthma in the healthcare industry.

Keywords: Asthma, Health Care Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am responsible for writing the material for the abstract and presentation. - I have a doctoral degree in Epidemiology and Occupational Health. - I have worked on both surveillance and research of work-related asthma. - I have been a co-author of several publications on work-related asthma, including 15 peer-reviewed articles, 3 book chapters, and and an educational unit. - I was one of the authors of the American Thoracic Society Statement on the "Occupational Contribution to the Burden of Airway Disease" (Am J Resp Crit Care Med 2003; 167: 787-797).
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.