Scand J Work Environ Health 1999;25 suppl 4:54-60    pdf

Combining quantitative and qualitative approaches in occupational health for a better understanding of the impact of work-related disorders

by Mergler D

Over the past years, the work situation has experienced important transformations, notably, the technological revolution and globalization, the influx of women into the labor market, an increased dependence on chemical substances, and a transfer of production and many hazardous procedures from North to South. These changes have important repercussions on the nature and type of occupational exposures, as well as on the labor force, affecting the relation between work and health. While quantitative studies have dominated occupational health research over the past half century, qualitative methods can serve to ground quantitative data with regard to defining the research questions, providing further information on the impact of work conditions on health and well-being, and reducing errors in exposure and health outcomes. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods in a complementary fashion can lead to a better understanding of the rapidly changing work environment and labor situation and a means for developing appropriate strategies for preventive intervention.

The following article refers to this text: 2003;29(5):396-405