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1.  Hepatitis C among healthcare personnel: secondary data analyses of costs and trends for hepatitis C infections with occupational causes 
Hepatitis C infection is a global public health issue. Chronic hepatitis C infection is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study is to describe the costs for occupationally-cased hepatitis C infections based on data from an accident insurance carrier.
This study is a secondary analysis based on the Database of a German Institution for Statutory Accident Insurance. The analysis is based on a sample of insured parties whose hepatitis C infections were recorded as occupational diseases between 1996 and 2013. The analysis is based on recognised hepatitis C cases and incorporates records registered between 1 January 2000 and 31 December 2014.
Within the study period, the number of reported and recognised hepatitis C cases declined by 73 and 86% respectively. The majority of recognised hepatitis C cases (n = 1.121) were female, older than 40 years and were active in a medical nursing profession. In the study period, the costs came to a total of € 87.9 million, of which 60% was attributable to pension payments (€ 51,570,830) and around 15% was attributable to pharmaceutical and medicinal products (€ 12,978,318). Expenses for drugs exhibited heavy increases in 2012 (from around € 500,000–800,000 to € 1.7 million) and 2014 (to € 2.5 million) in particular. Pension payments came to € 1.6 million in 2000 and rose continuously to over € 4 million in 2014. Expenses for occupational rehabilitation accounted for less than 1%.
For hepatitis C infections as an occupational disease, a considerable increase in costs has been observed in recent years, while the number of reports has declined heavily. This rise in costs is explained by the increase in pension payments and, since 2012, by a rise in the costs for drugs. The high costs of anti-viral therapies is offset by the potential for considerable treatment benefits. Healing the infection is expected to generate long-term cost savings for statutory accident insurance carriers, and also for social security systems.
PMCID: PMC5121931  PMID: 27904646
Hepatitis C virus; Occupational disease; Healthcare personnel; Burden of disease; Secondary data analysis
2.  Psychological stress and strain on employees in dialysis facilities: a cross-sectional study with the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire 
Work in dialysis facilities involves long term contact with chronically ill patients. International comparisons make it clear that dialysis work is being concentrated, staff is being reduced and more patients are being treated. It is more than 20 years since the last German publication on job strains and job satisfaction experienced by dialysis staff was published. The present study examines the stress and strain currently experienced by the staff of German dialysis facilities.
The staff of 20 dialysis facilities were surveyed with the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ). The questionnaire was extended by adding dialysis-specific questions. The data from the dialysis facilities were assessed by comparison with other professions in medical care - nurses and geriatric nurses - using data recorded in the German COPSOQ database.
A total of 367 employees took part in the study, corresponding to a response rate of 55%. For almost all psychosocial aspects, the dialysis staff regarded the stress and strain as being more critical than did the geriatric nurses. There were some positive differences in comparison to hospital nursing, including less conflict between work and private life. However, there were also negative differences, such as fewer possibilities of influencing the work.
The results of the study show that dialysis work exhibits both positive and negative aspects in comparison with other healthcare professions. The results in the different facilities were highly variable, indicating that the deficits found in the individual scales are not inevitable consequences of working in dialysis in general, but are influenced and might be favourably altered by the individual facilities.
PMCID: PMC3918173  PMID: 24499468
Belastung; Beanspruchung; Dialyse-Beschäftigte; Gesundheitsberufe; psychosoziale Arbeitsbedingungen; COPSOQ; Stress; Strain; Dialysis staff; Health occupations; Psychosocial factors; COPSOQ
3.  Infectious diseases in healthcare workers – an analysis of the standardised data set of a German compensation board 
Healthcare workers (HCW) are exposed to infectious agents. Disease surveillance is therefore needed in order to foster prevention.
The data of the compensation board that covers HCWs of non-governmental healthcare providers in Germany was analysed for a five-year period. For hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections, the period analysed was extended to the last 15 years. The annual rate of occupational infectious diseases (OIDs) per 100,000 employees was calculated. For needlestick injuries (NSI) a rate per 1,000 employees was calculated.
Within the five years from 2005 to 2009 a total of 384 HCV infections were recognised as OIDs (1.5/100,000 employees). Active TB was the second most frequent cause of an OID. While the numbers of HBV and HCV infections decreased, the numbers for active TB did not follow a clear pattern. Needlestick injuries (NSIs) were reported especially often at hospitals (29.9/1,000 versus 7.4/1,000 employees for all other HCWs).
Although they are declining, HCV infections remain frequent in HCWs, as do NSIs. Whether the reinforcement of the recommendations for the use of safety devices in Germany will prevent NSIs and therefore HCV infections should be closely observed.
PMCID: PMC3474162  PMID: 22553942
Healthcare workers; Infections; Tuberculosis; Needlestick injuries; Blood-borne virus infections

Results 1-3 (3)