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Long-Term Socioprofessional and Psychological Status in Workers Investigated for Occupational Asthma in Quebec

Moullec, Grégory PhD; Lavoie, Kim L. PhD; Malo, Jean-Luc MD; Gautrin, Denyse PhD; L'Archevêque, Jocelyne MT; Labrecque, Manon MD, MSc

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: September 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 9 - p 1052–1064
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829904ab
Original Articles

Objective: To compare the long-term status of workers with occupational asthma (OA) with those of subjects with work-exacerbated asthma (WEA) and nonasthmatic (NA) workers.

Methods: We contacted 179 subjects investigated for suspected OA at Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, from 1997 to 2007. Participants completed questionnaires on psychological and functional status, followed by a telephone interview about socioprofessional outcomes and health care utilization.

Results: The OA workers are more likely to have been removed from the workplace than the WEA workers. The health-related quality of life of all workers was still impaired. A high prevalence of psychiatric disorders was found among OA and WEA workers. Compared with WEA and OA workers, the NA group showed a higher rate of physician consultations for all causes.

Conclusions: Regardless of the diagnosis they received, these workers need to benefit from psychosocial support in the period after investigation for suspicion of OA.

From the Research Centre (Drs Moullec, Lavoie, Gautrin, Malo, L'Archevêque, and Labrecque), Division of Chest Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal—a University of Montreal–affiliated hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Montreal Behavioural Medicine Centre (Drs Moullec and Lavoie), Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal—a University of Montreal affiliated hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Exercise Science (Dr Moullec), Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Psychology (Dr Lavoie), Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Research Centre (Dr Lavoie), Montreal Heart Institute—a University of Montreal–affiliated hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; and Faculty of Medicine (Drs Lavoie, Gautrin, Malo, and Labrecque), Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Address correspondence to: Manon Labrecque, MD, MSc, Research Centre, Division of Chest Medicine, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, J-3190, 5400 Gouin West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H4J 1C5 (manon.labrecque@umontreal.ca).

This study was supported by a scholarship (G.M.) and a grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Asthma in the Workplace), and the Fonds de la Recherche du Québec en Santé Chercheur Boursier awards (M.L. and K.L.L.).

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine