A method for Effect Modifier Assessment in ergonomic intervention studies - the EMA-Method
Ergonomic intervention research includes studies in which researchers introduce or monitor changes in the work environment in order to assess impact on risk factors and / or health. In our systematic review Westgaard & Winkel (2011) it was, among other things, concluded that there are many changes in and around production systems that can lead to effects on musculoskeletal and mental health and / or corresponding risk factors; e.g. various forms of downsizing (including rumors of downsizing), management style and parallel interventions.
Outcome variables for both intervention and control groups may therefore be influenced by such contextual factors that are not included in the intervention, i.e. effect modifiers. In addition, these can affect the outcome of the intervention and control groups in different ways. In ergonomic intervention research potential effect modification is rarely properly estimated.
On this background, we have developed a method for assessing possible effect modifications (the "Effect Modifier Assessment": the EMA method). We have also included a preliminary test of its applicability in two intervention studies at a Danish hospital.
The project was carried out in collaboration with Dr Kasper Edwards at the Technical University of Denmark, Management Engineering.
The project was completed spring in 2020.
The Danish Working Environment Research Fund (#46-2010-09) and the healthcare authority in the county of VästraGötaland, Skaraborg Hospital, Sweden (#SkaS 00203-2011).