March 7, 2019

Research to Target "Understudied Groups" in Healthcare, Social Assistance

​“Setting-specific workers” such as home healthcare workers are among previously understudied groups targeted by research priorities in a new NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda for healthcare and social assistance. Published last month, the agenda includes objectives that target workers in veterinary medicine and animal care, home care, environmental services, long-term care facilities and nursing homes, and childcare. Aging workers and low-wage workers throughout the healthcare and social assistance sector are also identified as having unique occupational health and safety research needs.

NIOSH urges researchers to identify and evaluate methods to promote the adoption and implementation of hazardous drug safe handling programs in non-hospital settings and veterinary practices. The agency also stresses that future research in this sector should seek to develop or adapt interventions in acute healthcare settings for long-term care, home care, home healthcare, correctional care, childcare, and other social services. The new research agenda also seeks to establish a focus on the challenges of safely caring for people in their home environment.

The research agenda for healthcare and social assistance is available for download from the NORA website.

NORA is a partnership program that was created in 1996 to identify and address critical issues in workplace health and safety. Learn more on NIOSH’s website.

Coming soon: The April 2019 issue of The Synergist will include a feature article about protecting home healthcare aides and the challenges and opportunities for safe patient handling and mobility.