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Taking the Occupational History

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to the American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, 3861 Front Street, P.O. Box 3879; San Diego, CA 92103.

Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(5):641-651. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-99-5-641
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The occupational history is an integral part of a thorough medical interview, but may be difficult to interpret. A convenient format for obtaining an individual occupational history data base is provided, with guides to the interpretation of pertinent responses. Once completed, the occupational history can be extended by selected follow-up questions and by consulting authoritative information sources available to the clinician. The occupational history can be used on four levels: basic (a knowledge of the patient's current occupation and implications of the present illness for employment), diagnostic (to investigate an association with the present illness), screening (for individual surveillance), and comprehensive (to investigate complex problems in depth, usually in consultation with other occupational health professionals). The format provided is suitable for the screening level and to initiate investigation at the diagnostic and comprehensive levels.





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