Information exchange using a prescribed form and involvement of occupational health nurses promotes occupational physicians to collaborate with attending physicians for supporting workers with illness in Japan
Muto, G.; Ishii-Nakamura, R.; Yokoyama, K.; Kitamura, F.; Omori, Y.; Saito, M.; Endo, M.
Industrial Health 57(1): 10-21
The maintenance of a balance between work and disease treatment is an important issue in Japan. This study explored factors that affect collaboration between occupational physicians (OPs) and attending physicians (APs). A questionnaire was mailed to 1,102 OPs. The questionnaire assessed the demographic characteristics of OPs; their opinions and behaviors related to collaboration, including the exchange of medical information with APs; and the occupational health service system at their establishments. In total, 275 OPs completed the questionnaire (25.0% response rate). Over 80% of respondents believed OPs should collaborate with APs. After adjusting for company size, collaboration ≥10 times/yr (with regard to both returning to work following sick leave and annual health check-ups for employees) was significantly associated with environmental factors, such as the presence of occupational health nurses (odds ratio (OR): 5.56 and 5.01, respectively, p<0.05) and the use of prescribed forms for information exchange (OR: 4.21 and 3.63, respectively, p<0.05) but not with the demographic characteristics of the OPs (p>0.05). The majority of OPs believed that collaboration with APs is important for supporting workers with illnesses. Support systems including prescribed forms of information exchange and occupational health nurses, play pivotal roles in promoting this collaboration.