Systematically applied work-related interventions during visits to occupational health (OH) physicians support the preventive and health promotive goals of OH. The proportion of the visits including a work-related intervention was analyzed according to patient, health problem, and physician determinants in a sample of visits to OH physicians in Finland.
A cross-sectional study was carried out among 55 Occupational Health Services (OHS) units. Office encounters with 4,404 male and 5,373 female employed patients ages 18-64 years, recorded by 114 OHS physicians, were analyzed.
Altogether 856 (8.8%) encounters included a work-related intervention. The work-related interventions were distributed across all the main disease categories, the majority of which were musculoskeletal diseases. Of the patient determinants, occupational group (the residual group of non-white-collar or non-blue-collar workers) associated positively with a work-related intervention, while age or gender did not. The physician's female gender and experience associated positively with work-related interventions. Work-related interventions took place more often in integrated and joint model OHS than in municipal health care centers and private medical centers.
Work-related interventions are used by OH physicians for diverse health problems. More research is needed to better understand the reasons for the observed differences in work-related interventions. Also, research is needed to evaluate the efficiency of such interventions.