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371 Priority setting for future occupational safety and health (OSH) research in Europe
  1. G van den Heuvel1,
  2. Verbeek2,
  3. Nold3,
  4. Euler4,
  5. Fishta5
  1. 1TNO, Hoofddorp, Nederland
  2. 2FIOH, Helsinki, Finland
  3. 3IFA, Sankt Augustin, Germany
  4. 4Technical University, Dresden, Germany
  5. 5Baua, Berlin, Germany


Objectives The OSH Evidence group consists of experts coming from Institutes of the partnership for European Research in Occupational Safety and Health (PEROSH). Our main objective is to facilitate knowledge transfer from scientific research into policy making by means of systematic reviews. In this project we developed a priority list of topics for reviews which should be in line with the major trends and research challenges inOSH.

Methods We took the PEROSH paper on research challenges as a starting point. In this paper seven main research areas were identified by consultation of the member institutes that are significantly prevalent and innovative in terms of preventing ill health and occupational accidents. We aimed to translate the research needs in answerable research questions. We formulated criteria to decide if this specific question should be answered with a systematic review or with a scoping review. For systematic reviews, we phrased clear answerable questions according to a predefined ‘PICO’ format: P = participants, I = intervention/exposure, C = comparison/control, O = outcome. For scoping reviews, we described the target population, the intervention or exposure (s) and the intended results of the scoping reviews.

Results The main research challenges identified by PEROSH were: ‘Sustainable employability’, ‘Disability prevention’, ‘Psychosocial well-being’, ‘Multi-factorial genesis of musculoskeletal disorders’, ‘New technologies’, ‘Occupational risks of nano-materials’, and ‘Safety culture’. The project resulted in two lists for each research topic, one containing priorities for systematic reviews and one for scoping reviews. For example, a systematic review is needed for the research question “Is physically demanding work a risk factor for early retirement?”, while a scoping review is needed for the research question “Which interventions are available to prolong working life?”.

Conclusions Translating research priorities into questions that can be answered with systematic reviews and scoping reviews is feasible. The exercise helps in setting priorities for where reviews are needed.

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