Professional activity, information demands, training and updating needs of occupational medicine physicians in Italy: National survey
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Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), Monte Porzio Catone (Rome), Italy (Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene)
University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy (Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine)
Corresponding author
Benedetta Persechino   

Italian Workers’ Compensation Authority (INAIL), Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Epidemiology and Hygiene, Via Fontana Candida 1, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone (Rome), Italy
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2016;29(5):837-58
Objectives: Occupational medicine is a discipline continually evolving in response to technological advances, changes in workplaces and production processes, emergence of new occupational risks and diseases and modifications in regulatory framework for occupational health and safety. Therefore, the recurrent revaluation of professional activity, information demands and education and training needs of occupational physicians is essential in order to identify methodologies and tools that may contribute to improvement of their professional knowledge and competency. In this regard, we conducted the first large-scale national survey of Italian occupational medicine physicians to define their demographic and professional activity and to assess their information demands, training and updating needs. Material and Methods: A random sample of occupational physicians, listed in the national register of the Italian Ministry of Health, was selected to complete a voluntary survey. Subjects recruited in this study were asked to complete 3 different sections (personal and professional information, training and updating needs, professional activity and practice characteristics) of a questionnaire for a total of 35 questions. Results: Most of participants were specialized in occupational medicine, worked for a large number of companies and carried out health surveillance on a total number of workers that exceeds 1500. Occupational physicians would like to have a higher training offer towards practical aspects of health surveillance, risks assessment, manual handling of loads, chemical substances and upper limb biomechanical overload. Interestingly, statistically significant differences were observed subdividing the sample into different groups according to the legal requirements to perform the professional activity of occupational physicians in Italy or according to particular aspects of their professional activity. Conclusions: This study has provided interesting findings that may help to guide future discussion on alternative and additional instruments and/or methodologies that may be adopted to implement the quality and effectiveness of occupational medicine practice. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2016;29(5):837–858
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