Most important projects of Occupational and Insurance medicine

Burn-out projects

  • SPF Employment (projects 2010 and 2018) : The objective is to collect recent data for Belgium, not only about the prevalence and prevention of burnout, but also about for the most important work-related mental disorders. The study in 2018 demonstrates the importance of using two diagnostic tools, namely the clinical judgment of the health professional using the early burnout detection tool and a self-assessment questionnaire to be completed by the employee.
  • Fedris - Secundary prevention of burnout:  In January 2019, Fedris started a pilot project for a counseling programme for employees who are threatened or affected by an early stage of burnout as a result of work-related psychosocial risks. The pilot project will include 300 to 1000 employees from the financial services sector and the health care sector. The pilot project runs over 3 years and will be evaluated at the end of those 3 years.

Return to work of transgender and gender diverse people (PhD)

Information on return to work (RTW) of transgender and gender diverse (TGD) people, if they choose to take steps in gender affirming care (GAC), is generally lacking. A mixed methods research project is being carried out to collect detailed data on RTW outcomes of TGD workers (such as RTW rate, attempts, sustainability) as well as experiences (qualitative data) to investigate the barriers and facilitators to sustainable work resumption. Ultimately, this will result in the creation of an advisory tool for the primary care, occupational and insurance physician to support the transition and RTW of transgender and gender diverse people in a multidisciplinary way. The project is a collaboration between Ghent University (Department of Public Health), the Centre for Sexology and Gender (Ghent University Hospital) and our National Health Institute ‘Rijksinstituut voor Ziekte- en Invaliditeitsverzekering (RIZIV/INAMI).

Evaluation of a secondary prevention programme for LPB (PhD)

In 2007, FEDRIS initiated a prevention programme for employees with subacute LPB, which includes both an ergonomic intervention and multidisciplinary rehabilitation. The major goal is to promote secondary prevention of LBP and return to work. The project (2020-2024) is primarily aimed at a quantitative assessment of the impact of the FEDRIS programme on disability, resumption of work and healthcare consumption compared with employees who received care as usual. Secondly, a qualitative assessment of the programme including satisfaction, experiences and evolution of work situation will be performed among both participants and the operators within the programme.

BBEMG project

The Belgian BioElectroMagnetics Group (BBEMG) investigates health effects of electric fields and magnetic induction generated by the transport and the use of electric power in our daily life and work places (50 Hz). In the projects 2017-2021 and 2021-2025, Belgian researchers from three universities (Liège, Gent, Brussels) and one research institute (Brussels).are involved. Six research teams work together in a multidisciplinary way: literature overview & risk analysis, cumulative environmental nuisances, meta-analysis of childhood leukaemia, gene expression profiles following EMF exposure, cytogenetic biomonitoring of EMF-exposed workers, electrohypersensitivity, and also EMF exposure modelling from HV network. Funding: Belgian BioElectroMagnetic Group and Elia n.v.

ESPrIT project

“Strengthening the Occupational Health Expertise and Scientific Performance of Public Health Institution of Turkey (acronym ESPrIT)” with TNO (Netherlands), VUmc (Netherlands) and Gent University (Belgium) as partners.The aim of the project is improving the scientific and innovative performance of Ministry of Health, Public Health Institution of Turkey (PHIT) about occupational health issues and disseminating the project results and documents to  national and international professionals. ESPrIT includes trainings, consultancy, exchange visits, establishing network and collaboration activities improving the scientific and innovative performance of PHIT about occupational health research activities. A three year project was launched (1/1/2016-31/12/2018) with the support of the European Union (Horizon 2020, Twinning project).

MOOC - Epidemiology Applied to Occupational Health and Safety

A free online course was developed (Funding UGent) to provide an introduction to epidemiology applied to occupational health and safety. Basic concepts, research methods, assessment tools, the do's and don'ts of occupational epidemiology are explained and exercised. After the course, students will be able to apply their knowledge and start or participate actively in scientific studies concerning work and health issues. 

Emutom Online Module - European Module for Undergraduate Teaching of Occupational Medicine  

EMUTOM is a project aimed at enhancing collaboration between European medical faculties through the design of an e-learning module f teaching health and work issues that allows for harmonisation and transparency in terms of competencies and learning outcomes. Partners: Ghent (Belgium); Rouen (France); Amsterdam (The Netherlands); Timisoara (Romania) and Belgrade (Serbia) - Funding by the Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus (2010-2012).