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Am J Ind Med. 2003 May;43(5):519-22.

Validation of expert assessment of occupational exposures.

Author information

1
Department of Public Health, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia. lin.fritschi@uwa.edu.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Assessment by experts may be the best method available for retrospective occupational exposure measurement in community-based studies. This study was undertaken to examine the validity of occupational exposure assessment by comparing the ratings of experienced raters with previously recorded industrial hygiene measurements.

METHODS:

We obtained 50 measurements from industrial hygiene records, covering a variety of jobs and substances and created 47 job descriptions around these measurements. Three raters were asked to assess exposure to a checklist of 19 substances (including those substances which had been measured). We estimated the sensitivity of the raters in correctly detecting those substances known to have been present.

RESULTS:

Using a liberal criterion for the ratings, the average sensitivity among the raters was 90%. Using a more stringent criterion, the average sensitivity was 73%. Among substances coded as present, the raters were quite accurate in rating the relative concentration and frequency of exposure.

CONCLUSIONS:

This trial demonstrated that a team of experienced raters could successfully characterize jobs in which important exposures occurred.

PMID:
12704624
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.10208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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