Use of multiple data sources for surveillance of work-related amputations in Massachusetts, comparison with official estimates and implications for national surveillance

Authors

  • Letitia K. Davis ScD, EdM,

    Corresponding author
    1. Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Correspondence to: Letitia Davis, ScD, EdM, Director, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington Street, 6th floor, Boston, MA 02018. E-mail: letitia.davis@state.ma.us

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    • Director.
  • Kathleen M. Grattan MPH,

    1. Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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    • Epidemiologist, Study Coordinator.
  • Sangwoo Tak ScD, MPH,

    1. Southern California NIOSH Education and Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, California
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    • Assistant Director.
  • Lucy F. Bullock BA,

    1. Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Al Ozonoff PhD,

    1. Center for Patient Safety and Quality Research, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
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    • Director.
  • Leslie I. Boden PhD

    1. Professor of Environmental Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Disclosure Statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.
  • Sangwoo Tak and Lucy Bullock formerly with the MA Department of Public Health.

Abstract

Background

Accurate surveillance of work-related injuries is needed at national and state levels. We used multiple sources for surveillance of work-related amputations, compared findings with Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) estimates, and assessed generalizability to national surveillance.

Methods

Three data sources were used to enumerate work-related amputations in Massachusetts, 2007–2008. SOII eligible amputations were compared with SOII estimates.

Results

787 amputations were enumerated, 52% ascertained through hospital records only, exceeding the SOII estimate (n = 210). The estimated SOII undercount was 48% (95% CI: 36–61%). Additional amputations were reported in SOII as other injuries, accounting for about half the undercount. Proportionately more SOII estimated than multisource cases were in manufacturing and fewer in smaller establishments.

Conclusion

Multisource surveillance enhanced our ability to document work-related amputations in Massachusetts. While not feasible to implement for work-related conditions nationwide, it is useful in states. Better understanding of potential biases in SOII is needed. Am. J. Ind. Med. 57:1120–1132, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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