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RECENT PUBLICATIONS:

V. Ivleva, V. Juškelienė. Grįžimo į darbą po onkologinės ligos organizavimo gairės, 2019. / V. Ivleva, V. Juškelienė. Guidelines for Organizing Return to Work after Oncological Disease, 2019.

Due to advanced medical technology and early diagnosis more and more oncology patients have the opportunity to return to work. However, due to illness and side effects of treatment, returnees are often less able to work than before illness. The methodological guidelines describe the peculiarities of returning to work after oncological disease, present the difficulties experienced by patients and the factors that encourage returning to work.

Methodical recommendations have been prepared in accordance with the study “Returning to work after cancer: subjective experience of employees” 2018–2019. The information analyzed aims helping Lithuanian companies and organizations to ensure a smooth return to work for those affected by oncological disease. It could also contribute to educationof the public and raise awareness of the needs of post-oncologic returnees, and to reduce cancer stigma and discriminatory treatment in the workplace. The methodological recommendations are intended for managers of companies and institutions, human resources and occupational health professionals and other persons who can contribute to the smooth return to work. They are also useful for oncology patients planning to return to work.

For more information contact: Viktorija Ivleva, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Research, phone no. (370 5) 212 2589, e-mail: viktorija.ivleva@hi.lt.


J. Tamašauskaitė, S. Vainauskas. Kompiuterizuotos darbo vietos rizikos veiksnių identifikavimas, 2019. / J. Tamašauskaitė, S. Vainauskas.
Identification of risk factors in computer workstation, 2019.

Methodical recommendations have been prepared in accordance with adaptation study of computer workstation checklist for Lithuanian enterprises. The original checklist was development by the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive practitioners’ experience in the office ergonomics.

Methodical recommendations have been prepared to use by employers, health and safety executive practitioners, occupational health specialists, who need to comply with the Health and Safety requirements. It can be used as an aid to risk assessment of risk factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders related to computer work.

For more information contact: Jūratė Tamašauskaitė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Research, phone no. +370 5 212 2589, e-mail: jurate.tamasauskaite@hi.lt.

L. Pilipavičienė, S. Vainauskas. Dirbančių asmenų, kuriems prieinamos profesinės sveikatos priežiūros paslaugos, dalies (procentais) rodiklio apskaičiavimas, 2019. / L. Pilipavičienė, S. Vainauskas. Calculation of the percentage of employed persons who have access to occupational health care services. Methodical recommendations, 2019.

Methodical recommendations have been prepared in the framework of the National Public Health Care Development Programme for the year 2016–2023. Their purpose of the recommendations is to ensure that the dynamics of the change in the percentage of employed persons who have access to occupational health services, i.e. services provided by occupational health care professionals, is monitored using a single indicator calculation methodology. Methodical recommendations are intended for specialists of state institutions planning to monitor the dynamics of the indicator.

For more information contact: Lolita Pilipavičienė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Occupational Health Research, phone no. +370 5 212 2589, e-mail: lolita.pilipaviciene@dmc.lt.

 

RECENT PROJECTS:

THE FEATURES OF PSYCHOSOCIAL RISK ASSESSMENT IN LITHUANIAN MUNICIPAL ENTERPRISES

Project implementation period: 2020

Background. The employer is obliged to ensure the safety and health of workers in all work-related aspects, including psychosocial risks. Work-related psychosocial risks are among the key emerging risks to occupational health and safety.

Aim. To investigate the features of psychosocial risk assessment in Lithuanian municipal enterprises.

Tasks:
1. To investigate the features of identification of employees who may be at psychosocial risk.
2. To investigate the nature of the assessed psychosocial risk factors and the features of the identification of the most important psychosocial risk factors.
3. To investigate the features of taking preventive measures against psychosocial risk and evaluating their effectiveness.

Methodology. A cross-sectional study will be carried out. All Lithuanian municipal enterprises (n=463) will be invited to participate in the survey. The questionnaire was prepared by using the questions from the “List of questions for assessing the quality of risk assessment and measures concerning psychosocial risks” published by the European Commission, and Lithuanian legislation governing psychosocial risk assessment in workplaces.

Expected results.The features of psychosocial risk assessment in Lithuanian municipal enterprises will be investigated and described. Recommendations on how to improve psychosocial risk assessment will be prepared.

For more information contact: Lolita Pilipavičienė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Occupational Health Research, phone no. +370 5 212 2589, e-mail: lolita.pilipaviciene@dmc.lt.

 

ASSESSMENT OF THE SCHOOL COMMUNITY‘S OCCUPATIONAL WELL-BEING USING THE WELL-BEING AT YOUR WORK INDEX

Project implementation period: 2020

Relevance of the study. There are no studies in Lithuania that comprehensively assess the occupational well-being of teachers or the entire school community and systematically assess various factors of the occupational environment. Studies, mainly carried out in Finland, reveal that complex assessment of psychosocial factors can be a starting point for improving occupational well-being and developing social capital in schools. Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland (T. Saaranen et al.) have developed a model of occupational well-being for school community, which helps to assess the state of school community occupational well-being, creates the interaction between community members and encourage them to take joint action to improve occupational health and well-being. Positive changes also ensure more efficient work, contribute to the school's visibility, increase competitiveness, and strengthen the relations between educational institutions and networking. The model has been tested by the European Network of Health Promoting Schools in Italy, Germany, Ireland, and Estonia. The design of the study is based on the principles of learning organization, community and voluntary participation. Well-being Your Work index questionnaire is being tested in Lithuania for the first time.

Objective. To adapt The Well-being at Your Work index form for Lithuanian school community‘s and to assess their occupational well-being.

Tasks:
1. To estimate general psychometric characteristics of The Well-being at Your Work index form for Lithuanian school community‘s.
2. To assess occupational well-being of the participating school community‘s using The Well-being at Your Work index form.
3. To assess The Well-being at Your Work index form results’ differences according to general information and on available actions promoting occupational well-being variables.

Methodology. A quantitative analytical study will be carried out. The study population is the Lithuanian general education school community, including its entire staff (teachers, principals and their deputies, student support staff, healthcare professionals, and other support and administrative staff). It is planned to take 510 respondents. The anonymous questionnaire survey will be conducted using The Well-being at Your Work index questionnaire. In Lithuania the questionnaire is used with permission of the researchers of the University of Eastern Finland (T. Saaranen et al.).

Expected results. The adaptation of The Well-being at Your Work index form for Lithuanian school community‘s; the assessment of occupational well-being of the school community‘s using The Well-being at Your Work index form.

For more information contact: Skaistė Dreskinytė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Occupational Health Research, phone no. +370 5 212 2589, e-mail: skaiste.dreskinyte@hi.lt.

 

THE ACCESSIBILITY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES IN LITHUANIAN ENTERPRISES

Project implementation period: 2019

Objective. To assess the extent of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises and possibilities for its development.

Tasks:
1. To assess the extent of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises.
2. To analyze which occupational health services are provided in Lithuanian enterprises.
3. To analyze stakeholders' attitudes towards the possibilities for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises.

Methodology. A survey of Lithuanian enterprises (n=600) was carried out and the value of the indicator “The percentage of employed persons who have access to occupational health services” was calculated. A survey of occupational health professionals working in Lithuanian enterprises was carried out in order to find out which occupational health services they provided. A stakeholder roundtable was also held to discuss the possibilities for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises.

Results. The extent of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises is 4 percent. The extent of provision of occupational health services provided at least partially is 11.5 percent. The most frequently provided occupational health services are related to workers’ health monitoring. The least frequently provided occupational health services are related to advising on health protection, adapting work processes to the workers’ capabilities, and using personal protective measures. Besides, only every second occupational health professional organizes activities of occupational health promotion. The main possibilities for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises are long-term programs of occupational health promotion implemented by Lithuanian public health bureaus, improving the quality of workers‘health examinations by adoption of mobile health care cabinets, and dissemination of the information on the benefits that the employer receives when investing in workers’ health.

For more information contact: Lolita Pilipavičienė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Occupational Health Research, phone no. (370 5) 212 2589, e-mail: lolita.pilipaviciene@dmc.lt.

 

THE FEATURES OF ERGONOMICS RISK ASSESSMENT IN LITHUANIAN MUNICIPAL INSTITUTIONS / COMPANIES
 
Project implementation period: 2019–2020
 
High-quality risk assessment of ergonomic risk should contain the folowing steps: Identify the hazards and those at risk, evaluate and prioritize risk, decide on preventive actions, take action, monitor and review the situation. The employer shoud investigate the work environment and assess and document any risk factor discovered.

Objective. To investigate the features of ergonomics risk assessment in Lithuanian municipal institutions/companies.
 

Tasks:
1. Investigate the features of identifying risk and those at risk.
2. Identify  the features of the risk origin and prioritization.
3. Investigate the features of preventive measures, monitoring, and review actions.

Methodology. Quantitative cross-sectional type study.The study population is 484Lithuanian municipal institutions / companies. Sample size – 214 municipal institutions / companies.

Expected results. The risk assessment must be suitable and sufficient and should cover the whole undertaking. It should also be broad enough that it remains valid for a reasonable period and should be reviewed and updated whenever necessary. Risk factors relevant to the workplace should be assessed. Ergonomic for preventing musculoskeletal disorders deal with working postures, working movements, physical and psychological loads, and other conditions that can influence muscles and jodint of him, an body.

For more information contact: Jūratė Tamašauskaitė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Occupational Health Research, phone no. +370 5 212 2589, e-mail: jurate.tamasauskaite@hi.lt.

 

RETURNING TO WORK AFTER CANCER: SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE OF EMPLOYEES 

Project implementation period: 2018–2019

Objective of the research. To disclose employees’ experiences of returning to work after cancer.

Tasks:
1. To analyze and to describe the study participants’ experiences of returning to work after cancer.
2. To analyze factors, that facilitate and hinder the return to work of cancer.

Methods. 16 individuals working in Lithuania took part in this study. They were employees who have returned to work after fully completed cancer treatment. The study sample consisted of 2 males and 14 females aged 26 to 69 years. A qualitative study was conducted using a semi-structured interview, which consisted of three question topics related to the experience of taking a sick leave due to cancer, returning to work and questions about the organization in which study participant worked. Interview also consisted of introductory and situational questions. The analysis of data was based on the principles of thematic analysis.

Results. The research revealed three main theme groups, which describe the subjective experience of return to work after cancer: factors related to balancing work and illness (adaptation to work, working conditions, career opportunities and additional needs), barriers to return to work (side effects of the disease and its treatment, psychological difficulties, ethical issues, misunderstanding of others) and facilitating factors to return to work (motivation, support, flexible working arrangements). Due to the illness and its treatment, cancer survivors who return to work may have reduced working capacity and some physical activity restrictions. They often suffer from various physical and psychological difficulties. Finding a balance between work and illness becomes relevant even after total completion of the treatment. Employees, who have returned to work need continued medical care, additional rest and rehabilitation. The present study revealed, that in most cases rehabilitation and possibilities to have an additional rest are considered insufficient, the return to work is too abrupt. Thus, certain adjustments of working conditions are often needed. The analysis of the research participants’ experiences revealed that the confidentiality for cancer survivors who returned to work is not always guaranteed in Lithuanian workplaces. Their right to privacy is also often violated. Employees who have returned to work after cancer face stigma and are misunderstood by others. Working conditions are not always appropriate and adjusted to returnees’ needs. Inequality of career opportunities are also present in some cases. Cancer survivors who returned to work often feel socially and financially insecure. Due to the stigma, unequal opportunities at the workplace and misunderstanding from others, employees may face additional difficulties in the return to work process. In face of cancer, both colleagues and manager should avoid any prejudices towards the returnee. It is important to ensure the confidentiality, to ethically communicate disease-related issues and to take into account the disability of the returnee. Motivation of employees, the support of others and flexible working arrangements facilitate return to work. The present study reveals the need to educate society on cancer related issues and the topic of return to work after long-term illness. It is also crucial to develop an appropriate communication culture in Lithuanian workplaces and expand the availability of social and psychological services for cancer patients.

Contact: Viktorija Ivleva, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Research, phone no. +370 5  212 2589, e-mail: viktorija.ivleva@hi.lt.

 

THE ACCESSIBILITY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES IN LITHUANIAN ENTERPRISES

Project implementation period: 2019

Objective.
To assess the extent of provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises and possibilities for its development. 

Tasks:
1. To assess theextent of provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises.
2. To analyze which occupational health services are provided in Lithuanian enterprises.
3. To analyze stakeholders' attitudes towards the possibilities for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises.

Methodology. A survey of Lithuanian enterprises (n=600) will be carried out and the value of the indicator "The percentage of employed persons who have access to occupational health services" will be calculated. A survey of occupational health professionals working in Lithuanian enterprises will be carried out in order to find out which occupational health services they provide. A stakeholder roundtable will also be held to discuss the possibilities for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises.

Expected results. The study will help to assess the extent of provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises. Proposals for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises will be prepared.

For more information contact: Lolita Pilipavičienė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Occupational Health Research, phone no. +370 5 212 2589, e-mail: lolita.pilipaviciene@dmc.lt.

 

ADAPTATION STUDY OF COMPUTER WORKSTATION CHECKLIST FOR LITHUANIAN ENTERPRISES

Study implementation period: 2018–2019
 
Introduction. The display screen equipment (DSE) workstation checklist can be used by employers who need to comply with the Health and Safety. It can be used as an aid to risk assessment of risk factors associated with musculoskeletal disorders related to computer work. Such a checklist must be valid and reliable. The original checklist was development by the United Kingdom Health and Safety Executive practitioners’ expierence in the office ergonomics.

Aim of the study – to adapt a display screen equipment (DSE) workstation checklist to Lithuanian enterprises and to evaluate the content validity and reliability of the checklist.

Methodology. The display screen equipment (DSE) workstation checklist is composed of 33 items related to risk  factors in six areas, with 'yes'/'no' tick boxes: keyboards, mouse andtrackball, display screens, software, furniture and work environment. First of all, two independent translators translated a checklist to theLithuanian language. Differences between the translations were considered. A panel of 16 experts validated the display screen equipment (DSE) workstation checklist. The Content Validity Index (CVI) was calculated after receiving all correspondence regarding content validity for each item of the checklist. A total of 33 computer professionals participated in the inter-rater reliability study. 2 raters assessed the ergonomic practice of the computer professionals using the checklist. Observations were recorded independently and not discussed among the raters.

Results: Results from the panel of experts yielded 0.940 overall Content Validity Index. Inter-rater reliability ranged from moderate to perfect (kappa 0,615–1,000).

Conclusion: The display screen equipment (DSE) workstation checklist has strong content validity and moderate to perfect reliability between two independent raters.
 
For more information contact: Jūratė Tamašauskaitė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Research, phone no. + 370 5 212 2589, e-mail: jurate.tamasauskaite@hi.lt.
 

Competition “Health promoting workplace 2018“

The Occupational Health Centre of the Institute of Hygiene on a regular basis organises competitions „Health promoting workplace“. The topic of the announced competition is improving psychosocial environment of employees with the purpose to find out how much attention is given by companies to strengthening their employees mental health, what measures were taken in 2018, how the measures were assessed and how they affected the mental health of the employees and the overall psychosocial climate in the company. It is expected that the competition will encourage companies to share their experiences. Companies will share innovative ideas, which will improve the microclimate and psychosocial environment of employees. 

Public, business or non-governmental institutions or enterprises of various sizes registered in Lithuania are encouraged to participate in the competition by filling the application form. The applications are expected to be evaluated and the winners announced at the national scientific practical conference to be organised by the Institute of Hygiene in September 2019.

THE ACCESSIBILITY OF OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES IN LITHUANIAN ENTERPRISES

Project implementation period: 2019

Objective. To assess the extent of provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises and possibilities for its development.

Tasks:
1. To assess the extent of provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises.
2. To analyze which occupational health services are provided in Lithuanian enterprises.
3. To analyze stakeholders' attitudes towards the possibilities for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises.

Methodology. A survey of Lithuanian enterprises (n=600) will be carried out and the value of the indicator “The percentage of employed persons who have access to occupational health services” will be calculated. A survey of occupational health professionals working in Lithuanian enterprises will be carried out in order to find out which occupational health services they provide. A stakeholder roundtable will also be held to discuss the possibilities for the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises.

Expected results. The study will help to assess the extent of provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian enterprises. Proposalsfor the development of the provision of occupational health services in Lithuanian micro- and small-sized enterprises will be prepared.

For more information contact: Lolita Pilipavičienė, Institute of Hygiene, Occupational Health Centre, Division of Occupational Health Research, phone no. +370 5 212 2589, e-mail: lolita.pilipaviciene@dmc.lt.