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February/March 2011 (vol. 07/5)

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Research Plus

Pre-employment medicals

A Cochrane systematic review (nine studies) finds only very low quality evidence that pre-employment health examinations, specific to certain jobs or health problems, cut occupational disease, injury or absence. One lowquality study showed that a general medical examination did not cut absence in administration workers; while another (also low quality) showed that a task-focused examination did reduce absence compared with a general examination. There was contradictory evidence on the benefits of functional capacity evaluation. Candidate rejection rates varied from 2% to 35%.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2010; 12: CD008881. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD008881, http://goo.gl/Gin01

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Occupational Health at Work February/March 2011 (vol. 07/5) pp40