Hospital workers, nurses, technicians and doctors are by majority obliged to have periodic medical examinations provided by occupational physicians in occupational health services. It is wide known truth that hospital workers are often burdened with hand eczema. Hence, the purpose of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of periodic health examinations performed by occupational health physicians (OHP) in prevention of occupational contact dermatitis (OCD) in hospital workers.Methods
Study was conducted in two phases during the Horizon 2020 COST Project StanDerm. There were 194 hospital workers employed in clinical hospital over 10 years. Modified EvaHair and NOSQ 2002 questionnaire in Croatian and were used and on-site skin examination performed in both phases to collect data about protective gloves and skin condition. Medical records of periodic health examinations were analysed to assess skin sensitisation.Results
112 subjects (57.73%) wore gloves at work continually for more than one hour per day, 126 (64.94%) used latex, 25 (12.88%) nitrile, and 43 (22.16%) PVC gloves. Glove-induced skin symptoms were reported in 46 (23.71%) subjects. On-site examination showed 59 (30.41%) subjects with skin changes due to wet work or wearing gloves.Results
Sensitisation to latex or rubber additives was recorded in medical records of 18 (9.27%) subjects. At the time of the survey, skin condition with all subjects was graded good by OHP or hasn’t been checked. None has been diagnosed with OCD nor has been introduced to possibility of having one despite the fact that 59 subjects met the preconditions for OCD.Conclusion
Importance of prevention is emphasised while periodic health examinations performed by OHPs show weak efficacy in recognising OCD. Modified EvaHair and NOSQ 2002 questionnaire translated into Croatian were found to be valuable tools in detecting vulnerable individuals with high probability of having occupational contact dermatitis. Further evaluations are needed.