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Home Page for Health, Environment & Work Occupational Health MCQ No2 - Answers

Solutions To Specimen Occupational Health Multiple Choice Questions (for undergraduates)

This page consists of the answers to the MCQs on the previous page.

2. In investigating a case of possible work related illness:

(a) it is always essential to remove the patient from the workplace under suspicion before commencing investigation 

FALSE: While it is often necessary to relocate employees at least temporarily, this is not always necessary, nor even desirable. For example in the investigation of occupational asthma cases which are not so severe as to warrant immediate relocation, it may be necessary to monitor serial peak flow measurements while the patient is at work.

(b) exposure to an agent at a level below its legal occupational exposure limits excludes it as a cause of ill-health 

FALSE: See Occupational Exposure Limits

(c) laboratory tests of function of a target organ are the most specific way of reaching a diagnosis 

FALSE: Many occupational diseases do not result in specific pathognomonic abnormalities of target organ function. A good occupational history, appropriate work related observations, possibly provocation/simulation tests are usually more specific approaches to achieving a diagnosis. 

(d) an occupational history further back than 30 years may be needed 

TRUE: Mesothelioma is a classical example of an occupational disease which can manifest even more than 30 years after exposure. 

(e) enquiries about symptoms or illness in other workers should be pursued

TRUE: Occupational diseases such as dermatitis, rhinitis and asthma often present, albeit with a varying severity, in clusters of workers in the same workplace, and this history should alert the physician to a likely occupational cause. 

Note: A more comprehensive set of online MCQs in Occupational Medicine at postgraduate level is being developed at the Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health at the University of Manchester.