American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Vol. 57, Iss. 6, June 2014
Proportion of dermatitis attributed to work exposures in the working population, United States, 2011 behavioral risk factor surveillance system
Background The US employer-based surveillance system for work-related health conditions underestimates the prevalence of work-related dermatitis.
Objective The authors sought to utilize information from workers to improve the accuracy of prevalence estimates for work-related dermatitis.
Methods Three state health departments included questions in the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey designed to ascertain the prevalence of dermatitis in the working population, as well as healthcare experiences, personal perceptions of work-relatedness, and job changes associated with dermatitis.
Results The percentage of working respondents who reported receiving a clinician's opinion that their dermatitis was work-related was between 3.8% and 10.2%. When patients' perceptions were considered, the work-related dermatitis prevalence estimate increased to between 12.9% and 17.6%.
Conclusions Including patients' perceptions of work-relatedness produced a larger prevalence estimate for work-related dermatitis than the previously published estimate of 5.6%, which included only those cases of dermatitis attributed to work by healthcare professionals.