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The role of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in strengthening the evidence base for occupational health practice
  1. Malcolm R Sim1,
  2. Raymond Agius2
  1. 1
    Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2
    Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Malcolm R Sim, Monash Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, SPHPM, Monash University, The Alfred, Commercial Road, Melbourne, Vic 3004, Australia; malcolm.sim{at}med.monash.edu.au

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One of the roles of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM) is to publish research which assists occupational physicians and other occupational health professionals to undertake their day-to-day practice more effectively. Although evidence-based medicine has been an important area of development in other areas of the health care system, its application in occupational health practice has been slower.1 With the changing spectrum of activities in occupational health practice and the increasing amount of scientific information, this area has been identified by the new editorial team as a high priority in the next phase of OEM’s growth and development.

What do we mean by evidence-based occupational health practice? Traditionally, a major area of activity has been to develop the scientific basis for identifying causes of occupational disease and injury and to assist the setting of suitable occupational exposure limits. Over the past 65 years OEM has played a major role in providing the evidence base for this process. For example, the recent paper by Tony Newman Taylor has identified the important role that OEM played in publishing several of the key papers which identified asbestos as a cause of mesothelioma and lung cancer.2 There are many …

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