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Weigl, M.; Müller, A.; Paramythelli, A.; Angerer, P.; Petru, R. (2017): Checklist for psychosocial risk evaluation: a prospective evaluation study. In: Occupational Medicine-Oxford, Vol. 67, No. 1: pp. 7-12
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Background Although psychosocial risk evaluation (PRE) is legally required, implementation is often suboptimal. Occupational health specialists face various challenges in implementing a systematic PRE process. Aims To evaluate if a checklist strengthens the competencies of occupational physicians in PRE design and implementation. Methods A prospective pilot survey with a baseline and follow-up assessment at 12 months was conducted with occupational physicians who applied the checklist. Three outcome criteria were assessed: (i) physicians' general competence in PRE, (ii) physicians' self-reported skills in PRE and (iii) feasibility of the checklist. Results Twenty-four occupational physicians participated. Checklist users reported increased competence in PRE at follow-up, increasing in competence twice as much as physicians who did not use the checklist during the study period although this was not statistically significant. With regard to specific skills over time, checklist users reported increased knowledge of the PRE procedure (P < 0.05), as well as increased strategic planning for PRE (P < 0.01). All feasibility criteria were rated positively. Conclusions Our checklist may help occupational health clinicians to overcome the barriers that are responsible for the gap between official recommendations and occupational health and safety practice in PRE. However, our results are based on a preliminary study with a limited sample size.