Occupational Asthma Reference

Feary J, Cannon J, Fitzgerald B, Szram J, Scofield S, Cullinan P, Follow-up survey of patients with occupational asthma, Occup Med, 2020;70:231-234,doi.org/10.1093/occmed/kqaa049

Keywords: uk, OA, FU,

Known Authors

Paul Cullinan, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK Paul Cullinan

Julie Cannon, Royal Brompton Hospital London Julie Cannon

Joanna Szram, Royal Brompton Hospital Joanna Szram

Jo Feary, Royal Brompton Hospital Jo Feary

If you would like to become a known author and have your picture displayed along with your papers then please get in touch from the contact page. Known authors can choose to receive emails when their papers receive comments.

Abstract

Background
Occupational asthma (OA) is often associated with a poor prognosis and the impact of a diagnosis on an individual’s career and income can be significant.

Aims
We sought to understand the consequences of a diagnosis of OA to patients attending our clinic.

Methods
Using a postal questionnaire, we surveyed all patients attending our specialist occupational lung disease clinic 1 year after having received a diagnosis of OA due to a sensitizer (n = 125). We enquired about their current health and employment status and impact of their diagnosis on various aspects of their life. Additional information was collected by review of clinical records.

Results
We received responses from 71 (57%) patients; 77% were referred by an occupational health (OH) provider. The median duration of symptoms prior to referral was 18 months (interquartile range (IQR) 8–48). At 1 year, 79% respondents were no longer exposed to the causal agent. Whilst the unexposed patients reported an improvement in symptoms compared with those still exposed (82% versus 53%; P = 0.023), they had poorer outcomes in terms of career, income and how they felt treated by their employer; particularly those not currently employed. Almost all (>90%) of those still employed had been referred by an OH provider compared with 56% of those currently unemployed (P = 0.002)x.

Conclusions
The negative impact of OA on people’s careers, livelihood and quality of life should not be underestimated. However, with early detection and specialist care, the prognosis is often good and particularly so for those with access to occupational health.

Plain text: Background Occupational asthma (OA) is often associated with a poor prognosis and the impact of a diagnosis on an individual's career and income can be significant. Aims We sought to understand the consequences of a diagnosis of OA to patients attending our clinic. Methods Using a postal questionnaire, we surveyed all patients attending our specialist occupational lung disease clinic 1 year after having received a diagnosis of OA due to a sensitizer (n = 125). We enquired about their current health and employment status and impact of their diagnosis on various aspects of their life. Additional information was collected by review of clinical records. Results We received responses from 71 (57%) patients; 77% were referred by an occupational health (OH) provider. The median duration of symptoms prior to referral was 18 months (interquartile range (IQR) 8-48). At 1 year, 79% respondents were no longer exposed to the causal agent. Whilst the unexposed patients reported an improvement in symptoms compared with those still exposed (82% versus 53%; P = 0.023), they had poorer outcomes in terms of career, income and how they felt treated by their employer; particularly those not currently employed. Almost all (>90%) of those still employed had been referred by an OH provider compared with 56% of those currently unemployed (P = 0.002)x. Conclusions The negative impact of OA on people's careers, livelihood and quality of life should not be underestimated. However, with early detection and specialist care, the prognosis is often good and particularly so for those with access to occupational health.

Full Text

Associated Questions

Registered users of this website have associated this reference with the following questions. This association is not a part of the BOHRF occupational asthma guidelines.

Which factors increase the probability of a favourable prognosis after a diagnosis of occupational asthma?
burgeps This paper followed up workers with confirmed occupational asthma mainly to laboratory animals and baking flour. It showed the benefits of occupational health services that refer those who have failed surveillance for occupational asthma to a specialist unit, as opposed to those who find there way there through other routes. Those referred by occupational health were more likely to be employed one year after diagnosis, were more likely to have been removed from the cause, and have a better quality of life. In addition it confirmed the benefit of early removal from the cause once occupational asthma developed.

Please Log In or Register to put forward this reference as evidence to a question.

Comments

Please sign in or register to add your thoughts.


Oasys and occupational asthma smoke logo