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  • 1
    ISSN: 1365-2133
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Background  Epidemiological studies indicate that occupational hand eczema (OHE) often is associated with persistent dermatitis and prolonged sick leave, which may lead to unemployment. Previous studies suggest that OHE caused by allergic contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis (AD) carries the worst prognosis.Objectives  To evaluate and compare the severity and consequences of recognized OHE in different diagnostic and subdiagnostic groups.Methods  Between October 2001 and November 2002, all new cases of recognized OHE were identified from the Danish National Board of Industrial Injuries Registry (758 cases). Severity was graded from 0 to 2 depending on the intensity of skin response and the frequency of relapse. To supplement the information from the Registry, we surveyed the study population using a postal questionnaire which included questions about disease duration, sick leave, current occupation and loss of job.Results  The overall response rate to the questionnaire was 82%. We observed substantially greater severity among those with occupational irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) and AD than for any other diagnoses. Age above 50 years was also associated with increased severity of OHE. Prolonged sick leave due to OHE was reported by 19·9% and was associated with AD and severe OHE. We found a higher proportion of prolonged sick leave among those in food-related occupations (27·2%) compared with those in wet occupations (20·1%) and other occupations (16·5%). Twenty-three per cent reported that they had lost their job at least once during the past 12 months due to OHE. The only strong association with loss of job was food-related occupations.Conclusions  Occupational ICD and AD appear to be strongly associated with severity of OHE. AD and severity of OHE were independently associated with prolonged sick leave. Having a food-related occupation appears to be associated with increased risk of loss of job.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1365-2133
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: Background  Severity assessment of occupational hand eczema (OHE) is important not only in clinical settings but also in research. Questionnaires with self-rated assessment of severity may be an attractive tool for assessing severity because of their cost efficiency in comparison with expensive clinical examinations.Objectives  To evaluate the relation between self-rated severity and severity assessment based on standardized medical certificates issued by dermatologists in a population of patients with OHE.Methods  Between October 2001 and November 2002 (58 weeks) we identified all new cases of recognized OHE from the Danish National Board of Industrial Injuries (DNBII) registry. Each patient was examined by a dermatologist, who issued a standardized medical certificate. The severity assessment in the DNBII registry was based on this medical certificate, which comprised information on morphology and extent of eczema, and frequency of eruptions. All participants received a self-administered questionnaire and were asked to classify severity of their OHE on a visual analogue scale from 0 to 10. The relation between DNBII-assessed and self-rated severity was illustrated by a receiver operating characteristic analysis.Results  Of 758 patients included in the study, 621 returned the questionnaire and 602 (79%) provided information on self-rated severity. The proportion of severe cases was significantly higher among patients' assessments compared with the rating by the DNBII. Almost 18% were categorized as severe cases by the DNBII while 40% of patients had assessed themselves as having severe eczema. The optimal cut-off point had a sensitivity and specificity of self-rated severity according to the DNBII assessment of 65% and 66%, respectively. The positive predictive value was 29% and the negative predictive value was 90%.Conclusions  The low positive predictive value suggests major differences in the criteria for self-rated severity vs. DNBII-rated severity. We recommend researchers to include ratings from both patients and physicians in future investigations of severity. The methods may address different aspects of OHE.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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