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BMJ Open ; 12(4): e060710, 2022 04 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774972


OBJECTIVES: Worldwide, the COVID-19 pandemic triggered the sharpest economic downturn since the Great Recession. To prepare for future crises and to preserve public health, we conduct an overview of systematic reviews to examine the evidence on the effect of the Great Recession on population health. METHODS: We searched PubMed and Scopus for systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses focusing specifically on the impact of the Great Recession on population health (eg, mental health). Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses guidelines were followed throughout this review and critical appraisal of included systematic reviews was performed using Assessing the Methodological Quality of Systematic Reviews. RESULTS: Twenty-one studies were identified and consistently showed that the Great Recession was most risky to health, the more a country's economy was affected and the longer strict austerity policies were in place. Consequently, a deterioration of health was highest in countries that had implemented strict austerity measures (eg, Greece), but not in countries that rejected austerity measures (eg, Germany). Moreover, the impact of the Great Recession fell disproportionately on the most vulnerable groups such as people in unemployment, at risk of unemployment and those living in poverty. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences of the last economic crisis show that it is possible to limit the consequences for health. Prioritising mental healthcare and prevention, foregoing austerity measures in the healthcare system and protecting vulnerable groups are the most important lessons learnt. Moreover, given the further aggravating social inequalities, a health in all policies approach, based on a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment, is advised.

COVID-19 , Population Health , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Economic Recession , Humans , Pandemics/prevention & control , Systematic Reviews as Topic
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 18(7)2021 03 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1378277


The development and enhancement of occupational health services (OHS) at the national level is central to ensuring the sustainable health, well-being and work engagement of the working population. However, due to differences in national health, social security and occupational safety and health systems, the content, capacity, coverage and provisions of OHS vary considerably across national contexts. Obtaining a better understanding in terms of such similarities and variations internationally is essential as such comparative information can help inform evidenced-based decision-making on OHS at both policy and practice levels. This paper therefore reviews and analyses the key policies, standards and approaches in OH systems and services, using both academic and grey literature, across 12 industrialised countries (Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Poland, United Kingdom and the United States of America). It provides a detailed overview and categorization of OHS in these selected countries in terms of the legal and policy context, organisation and financing and coverage and staffing while specifically discussing variations aimed at psychosocial risk management and the promotion of mental health and well-being at work. It draws conclusions on key development needs of OHS internationally to ensure psychosocial risk management and mental health promotion are prioritised effectively in a preventive manner.

Occupational Health Services , Occupational Health , Australia , Canada , Finland , France , Germany , Humans , Ireland , Italy , Japan , Mental Health , Netherlands , Poland , Risk Management , United Kingdom , United States
Med Lav ; 112(2): 141-152, 2021 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196172


BACKGROUND: Starting from February 2020, in Italy most organizations have had a forced transition to flexible working practice - called "smart working in emergency" - due to the Covid-19 epidemic outbreak. This allowed to continue work activities and services and contributed to contain the risk of infection in different sectors, particularly in the public administration. OBJECTIVES: This follow up study focussed on a panel of 187 workers from the Italian Workers' Compensation Authority taking part to a pilot project "Smart Working in INAIL" from January 2019 to December 2019. The aim was to investigate the effects of work organization on work attitudes, work-life balance and health outcomes before and after the introduction of the smart working. METHODS: The data were collected at two time points through a web-based questionnaire. The first wave aimed to collect information up to one month before the implementation of the smart working. The second wave aimed to collect information about potential changes occurred after one year of smart working. RESULTS: This study showed that high demands, low control and low social support might lead to reduced well-being and less satisfaction with work, and have an effect on work engagement and work-life balance. Particularly, improving social support can moderate the negative impact of high strain on well-being, preventing work-life imbalance and risk of isolation. DISCUSSION: Findings and future perspectives are discussed to support stakeholders in defining policies and practices concerning health and wellbeing at work while preserving productivity, for a successful implementation of smart working in the public administration.

COVID-19 , Follow-Up Studies , Humans , Italy , Pilot Projects , SARS-CoV-2