Annals of work exposures and health 2022

Development of Harmonized COVID-19 Occupational Questionnaires.

Schlunssen V, du Prel JB, Van Tongeren M, Godderis L, Turner MC, McElvenny D
10.07.2022
Harmonized tools and approaches for data collection can help to detect similarities and differences within and between countries and support the development, implementation, and assessment of effective and consistent preventive strategies. We developed open source occupational questionnaires on COVID-19 within COVID-19 working groups in the OMEGA-NET COST action (Network on the Coordination and Harmonisation of European Occupational Cohorts, omeganetcohorts.eu), and the EU funded EPHOR project (Exposome project for health and occupational research, ephor-project.eu). We defined domains to be included in order to cover key working life aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Where possible, we selected questionnaire items and instruments from existing questionnaire resources. Both a general occupational COVID-19 questionnaire and a specific occupational COVID-19 questionnaire are available. The general occupational COVID-19 questionnaire covers key working life aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the domains: COVID-19 diagnosis and prevention, Health and demographics, Use of personal protective equipment and face covering, Health effects, Work-related effects (e.g. change in work schedule and work-life balance), Financial effects, Work-based risk factors (e.g. physical distancing, contact with COVID-19-infected persons), Psychosocial risk factors, Lifestyle risk factors, and Personal evaluation of the impact of COVID-19. For each domain, additional questions are available. The specific occupational COVID-19 questionnaire focusses on occupational risk factors and mitigating factors for SARS-CoV2 infection and COVID-19 disease and includes questions about the type of job, amount of home working, social distancing, human contact (colleagues, patients, and members of the public), commuting, and use of personal protective equipment and face coverings. The strength of this initiative is the broad working life approach to various important issues related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 disease, and potentially future pandemics. It requires further work to validate the questionnaires, and we welcome collaboration with researchers willing to do this. A limitation is the moderate number of questions for each of the domains in the general questionnaire. Only few questions on general core information like ethnicity, demographics, lifestyle factors, and general health status are included, but the OMEGA-NET questionnaires can be integrated in existing questionnaires about sociodemographic and health-related aspects. The questionnaires are freely accessible from the OMEGA-NET and the EPHOR homepages.© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Occupational Hygiene Society.
DOI
10.1093/annweh/wxac044