The use of evidence-based clinical tools in occupational medicine

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Abstract

Background

Little is known of UK occupational physicians’ usage of screening questionnaires in assessment.

Aim

To determine, among members of the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM), the degree of awareness and the extent of usage of 12 previously validated screening questionnaires and two educational interventions.

Method

A cross-sectional self-report survey of a random sample of 400 members of the SOM.

Results

The response rate was 54% (216). Awareness was good especially for the disease-specific questionnaires. However, no usage (0%) exceeded low usage (1–50%) for half the survey instruments. For three instruments, the converse applied and for four instruments no usage equalled low usage. The main reasons for non-usage were lack of availability and lack of time.

Conclusions

The most used and familiar instruments were the Back Book, Mini-Mental State Examination and Numerical Rating Scale. Over half the respondents also used the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test and the remaining pain scales at least to some degree.

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