An approach to assess the burden of work-related injury, disease, and distress

Paul A. Schulte, Rene Pana-Cryan, Teresa Schnorr, Anita L. Schill, Rebecca Guerin, Sarah Felknor, Gregory R. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The true burden (morbidity, mortality, disability, cost, pain, distress) of occupational and work-related diseases and injuries is unknown, and what is reported as burden is significantly underestimated. This underestimation affects the way decision-makers view investments in research and worker protection, which in turn has a substantial impact on national welfare and public health. To better describe the societal and individual burdens of occupational and work-related diseases and injuries, we propose an approach to gaugewhat is known about burden and where new assessments may be made. This approach consists of 4 elements to consider in burden assessments: (1) utilizing multiple domains, including the individual worker, the worker's family, the community in which the workplace is located, the employer, and society as a whole; (2) taking a broader view of the workrelatedness of disease and injury; (3) assessing the impact of the entire working-life continuum; and (4) applying the comprehensive concept of "well-being" as an indicator in addressing contemporary changes in the nature of work, the workplace, and the workforce. Further research on burden and enhanced surveillance is needed to develop these elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1051-1057
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume107
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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    Schulte, P. A., Pana-Cryan, R., Schnorr, T., Schill, A. L., Guerin, R., Felknor, S., & Wagner, G. R. (2017). An approach to assess the burden of work-related injury, disease, and distress. American Journal of Public Health, 107(7), 1051-1057. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2017.303765