Feasibility of a provincial voluntary reporting system for work-related asthma in Ontario

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OBJECTIVE: The Ontario Work-Related Asthma Surveillance System: Physician Reporting (OWRAS) Network was established in 2007 to estimate the prevalence of work-related asthma (WRA) in Ontario, and to test the feasibility of collecting data for cases of WRA from physicians voluntarily. METHODS: More than 300 respirologists, occupational medicine physicians, allergists and primary care providers in Ontario were invited to participate in monthly reporting of WRA cases by telephone, postal service or e-mail. RESULTS: Since 2007, 49 physicians have registered with the OWRAS Network and, to date, have reported 34 cases of occupational asthma and 49 cases of work-exacerbated asthma. Highly reactive chemicals were the most frequently reported suspected causative agent of the 108 suspected exposures reported. CONCLUSION: Despite the challenge of enlisting a representative sample of physicians in Ontario willing to report, the OWRAS Network has shown that it is feasible to implement a voluntary reporting system for WRA; however, its long-term sustainability is currently unknown. ©2011 Pulsus Group Inc. All rights reserved.




To, T., Tarlo, S. M., McLimont, S., Haines, T., Holness, D. L., Lougheed, M. D., … Cicutto, L. (2011). Feasibility of a provincial voluntary reporting system for work-related asthma in Ontario. Canadian Respiratory Journal, 18(5), 275–277. https://doi.org/10.1155/2011/541680

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