Given the current state of evidence regarding OHSMSs effectiveness:
The review team recommends that those who fund Canadian research should support studies examining the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of OHSMSs. Support should also be given to research aimed at identifying facilitators of and barriers to OHSMS implementation and effectiveness.
The generalizability and practical application of this research would be greatly enhanced if stronger research designs were used. This would include the use of comparison groups and longitudinal designs. It is also important for researchers to carefully identify and control for potential confounders, to use larger samples selected through random means, and to include more rigorous economic evaluations. Research using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies would be helpful.
The review team recommends that when the topic of OHSMSs is reviewed in future, researchers seek evidence from sources outside the peer-reviewed, published literature.
This review involved an extensive search for research literature on OHSMS interventions. It focused on the published, peer-reviewed literature in order to concentrate on high-quality studies. However, relatively few studies were found and they were only of “moderate” quality. Others who are interested in doing similar research should consider using additional sources of literature.
Because all mandatory and some voluntary OHSMSs are initiated by the government and its agencies, these organizations are a likely source for evaluative reports on the subject. Thesis dissertations might also provide a valuable pool of high-quality studies, since their production involves peer- review.
Institute for Work & Health