My first experience attending the International Congress on Occupational Health was in 2015 in Seoul, South Korea. It was an eye-opener, the Congress is one of the biggest events in occupational health in the world, where all the leaders, experts, and practitioners in the field from all across the globe meet to share the latest ideas and development in Occupational Health. This year the 32nd International Congress on Occupational Health (ICOH2018) was in Dublin, Ireland from the 29 April to 4 May 2018. The theme for the congress is “Occupational Health and Wellbeing: linking research to practice”. It was jointly organised by the International Commission for Occupational Health (ICOH) and the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal College of Physicians of Ireland. ICOH is an international non-governmental professional society, founded in 1906 in Milan as the Permanent Commission on Occupational Health. There were 42 keynote presentations, 196 special and abstract sessions, over 700 posters, and 852 academic presentations in the parallel sessions, which accounts for over 300 hours of educational content in the five and half day congress. In addition, there were also the ICOH General Assembly and business meetings of the 37 ICOH Scientific Committees (SC).
I presented the paper on “Association of Psychological Distress and Work-related Factors, and Multisite Musculoskeletal Pain Among School Teachers in Malaysia”. The paper is part of the results of the Cohort study on clustering of lifestyle risk factors and understanding its association with stress on health and wellbeing among school teachers in Malaysia (CLUSTer) project that was funded by the Ministry of Education High Impact Research Grant (H-20001-00-E2000069) and the University Malaya Research Program grant (RP001B-13HTM). The paper presented on the cross-sectional results of 6796 teachers from 391 schools. It found that psychological distress, i.e., anxiety, depression and stress have a stronger association with multisite musculoskeletal pain. (http://oem.bmj.com/content/75/Suppl_2/A252.2).
The congress was a good time in catching up with old acquaintances and making new ones. I would recommend all those with an interest in occupational health to attend the next congress in Melbourne, Australia (22 – 26 March 2021). Besides the Congress, they can also attend one of the many meetings organised by the Scientific Committee on more specific topics. During the last triennium (2015-2017) the SC organised 99 scientific meetings.
Article written by Victor Hoe