ORIGINAL PAPER
The role of occupational health services in cancer prevention – which factors determine the implementation of preventive measures?
 
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1
Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Occupational Diseases and Environmental Health)
2
University of Łódź, Łódź, Poland (Science Centre)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Marta Wiszniewska   

Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Occupational Diseases and Environmental Health, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
Online publication date: 2021-06-01
 
 
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ABSTRACT
Objectives: Epidemiological data on cancer diseases are alarming. The workplace has become an increasingly important site for disseminating health information and implementing health promotion activities. Occupational medicine physicians (OMPs) have the opportunity to carry out primary and secondary preventive activities focused on civilization diseases, especially cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of OMPs in cancer prevention, including the analysis of factors determining the implementation of preventive measures, as part of standard healthcare for employees. Material and Methods: The study was conducted among 362 OMPs. The interviews were carried out by the computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) method. Results: Over 60% of the surveyed OMPs are ready to implement cancer preventive activities among employees. The doctors with the longest seniority in occupational health services are more likely to declare unwillingness to implement cancer preventive activities. Patient’s consent, informing women about the program and adjusting the time of the medical visit are the most important conditions for introducing cancer prevention programs by OMPs. Neither seniority nor the number of examinations performed by a physician influenced the currently implemented cancer preventive activities as part of occupational health services (including the evaluation of cancer risk factors occurrence among employees). Conclusions: In Poland, OMPs are willing to implement cancer preventive activities among employees, but their current activity in this area is limited and needs development. The most specific actions should be addressed to doctors with the longest seniority in occupational health services, who are frequently unwilling to implement cancer preventive activities. Strengthening the preventive potential of Polish occupational health services requires a systemic approach to the scope and way of action of healthcare professionals.
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087