Research to Target “Understudied Groups” in Healthcare
“Setting-specific workers” such as home healthcare workers are among previously understudied groups targeted by research priorities in a new NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda for healthcare and social assistance. Published in February, the agenda includes objectives that target workers in veterinary medicine and animal care, home care, environmental services, long-term care facilities and nursing homes, and childcare. Aging workers and low-wage workers throughout the healthcare and social assistance sector are also identified as having unique occupational health and safety research needs. NIOSH urges researchers to identify and evaluate methods to promote the adoption and implementation of hazardous drug safe handling programs in non-hospital settings and veterinary practices. The agency also stresses that future research in this sector should focus on the challenges of safely caring for people in their home environment.  The research agenda for healthcare and social assistance is available for download from the NORA website.