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Risk factors of work-related diseases - methods of evaluation and prevention

Final Report Summary - REWARD (Risk factors of work-related diseases - methods of evaluation and prevention)

The overall aim of the joint research programme was to enhance the research activities in study of the risk factors of work-related diseases with special emphasis paid to cardiovascular and musculoskeletal system. The main idea behind the exchange program was to set up a consortium of specialised centres, including developing countries, to enable joint research covering all levels: from experimental to epidemiological studies, i.e. from works intended to explain pathomechanism to population research. occupational factors in different countries

Objectives of the project:
 Exchange the knowledge on the influence of particular occupational and environmental factors on the neurovegetative regulation and cardiovascular diseases
 Familiarizing with methods for evaluation the influence of occupational factors on neurovegetative regulation (heart rate variability analysis)
 Exchange the experience on medical examination including 24-h ECG monitoring, blood pressure monitoring, heart rate variability in different occupational groups
 Preparing the ideas for the study needs related to cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases in workers exposed to different occupational factors

Activities were divided into 3 scientific work-packages: WP 1. Analysis of the influence of occupational factors on the neurovegetative regulation and cardiovascular diseases, WP2 Epidemiological methods for the analysis of the relationship between occupational and environmental factors and cardiovascular diseases, WP3 Occupational risk factors for musculoskeletal disorders and one -Management. All tasks planned in these WP were entirely fullfiled.
The transfer of knowledge was implemented by various activities:
I. Training programmes,
II. Networking activities,
III. Pilot studies

I. Training programmes, included series of two-side researchers’ visits:
 partners from Russian and Ukrainian institutions (North-Western State Medical University named after I. I. Mechnikov, Saint Petersburg and the International Scientific-Training Centre for Information Technologies and Systems UNESCO, Kiev) to the Department of Work Physiology and Ergonomics, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine in Lodz, Poland
 researchers from NIOM to Russian and Ukrainian institutions
 partners from other EU countries (University of Torino, Italy, College University of London, England, University of Gavle, Sweden) to Ukrainian and Russian institutions
 researchers from Russia and Ukraine to partners from EU countries (University of Torino, Italy, College University of London, England, University of Gavle, Sweden, University of Pecs, Hungary, NRCWE, Copenhagen, Denmark)
 researchers from NIOM to partners from EU countries (University of Torino, Italy, University of Pecs, Hungary)

II. Networking activities

According to the plans of realization of the project there were organized three meetings:

 Kick-off meeting for all partners during 5th International Conference on Work Environment and Cardiovascular Diseases, Kraków, 26-30.09.2009
During this event all partners presented their own research activities as well as achievements of universities and institutes which were represented. The project’s leader explained the details of project and thereafter were discussed plans of implementation and prepared scheme of partners exchange.
 Mid-term meeting during the 14th Congress of the International Society for Holter and Noninvasive Electrocardiology (ISHNE) - 26-28.04.2011 Moscow, Russia
During Congress was organized special session entitled "Work strain and heart rate variability analysis (HRV)" where researchers from NIOM and partner's institutions presented results of their studies performed in the frame of the project REWARD. To give lectures in this session were invited also specialists in the field of HRV analysis.
 Final meeting during Conference “REWARD”, NIOM, Lodz, Poland, 3-5 December 2012. Final meeting was devoted to:
 sum up our achievements and shortcoming
 discuss topic of the proposal for the next submission
 strengthen relationship between partners and to expand our group about new members

III. Pilot studies covered:
1. Preparing methods for common studies:
 questionnaire for evaluation of drivers’ health status prepared in Polish, English and Russian version
 questionnaire for evaluation occupational and environmental risk factors of myocardial infarction prepared in Polish, English and Russian version
2. Performing examinations
 examination among patients with first myocardial infarction in St. Petersburg
 examination among bus drivers in St. Petersburg
3. Physiological data analysis for preparing mathematical models related to heart rate variability during different physical activities (sport, relaxation etc.)

The transfer of knowledge and know-how regarding risk factors of work related diseases increased the potential for designing joint research projects and was helpful in preparing proposals within FP7. Consortium, established in the frame of project, is able now to perform extensive, multi-centre, interdisciplinary research on the link between the work environment and the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases as well as research on other aspects of health problems of working population (for example ageing). Realization of the project was the first step to create the platform for international, multidisciplinary, comparative studies on risk and protective factors of health and well being, in workers of western, central and eastern European countries. Possibilites to participate in different scientific events during project enabled researchers exchange knowlegde and contacts with specialists from all over the world. In result, new, expanded consortium emeraged which prepared proposals for Marie Curie International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES), Identifier: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES, entitled: "Intercultural determinants of health and well-being in working populations in different European countries" submitted to EU in January.