WHO/ILO work-related burden of disease and injury: Protocol for systematic reviews of exposure to long working hours and of the effect of exposure to long working hours on stroke

Alexis Descatha, Grace Sembajwe, Michael Baer, Fabio Boccuni, Cristina Di Tecco, Clément Duret, Bradley A. Evanoff, Diana Gagliardi, Ivan D. Ivanov, Nancy Leppink, Alessandro Marinaccio, Linda L. Magnusson Hanson, Anna Ozguler, Frank Pega, John Pell, Fernando Pico, Annette Prüss-Üstün, Matteo Ronchetti, Yves Roquelaure, Erika SabbathGretchen A. Stevens, Akizumi Tsutsumi, Yuka Ujita, Sergio Iavicoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) are developing a joint methodology for estimating the national and global work-related burden of disease and injury (WHO/ILO joint methodology), with contributions from a large network of experts. In this paper, we present the protocol for two systematic reviews of parameters for estimating the number of deaths and disability-adjusted life years from stroke attributable to exposure to long working hours, to inform the development of the WHO/ILO joint methodology. Objectives: We aim to systematically review studies on occupational exposure to long working hours (called Systematic Review 1 in the protocol) and systematically review and meta-analyse estimates of the effect of long working hours on stroke (called Systematic Review 2), applying the Navigation Guide systematic review methodology as an organizing framework, conducting both systematic reviews in tandem and in a harmonized way. Data sources: Separately for Systematic Reviews 1 and 2, we will search electronic academic databases for potentially relevant records from published and unpublished studies, including Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, CISDOC and PsychINFO. We will also search electronic grey literature databases, Internet search engines and organizational websites; hand-search reference list of previous systematic reviews and included study records; and consult additional experts. Study eligibility and criteria: We will include working-age (≥15 years) workers in the formal and informal economy in any WHO and/or ILO Member State, but exclude children (<15 years) and unpaid domestic workers. For Systematic Review 1, we will include quantitative prevalence studies of relevant levels of occupational exposure to long working hours (i.e. 35–40, 41–48, 49–54 and ≥55 h/week) stratified by country, sex, age and industrial sector or occupation, in the years 2005–2018. For Systematic Review 2, we will include randomized controlled trials, cohort studies, case-control studies and other non-randomized intervention studies with an estimate of the relative effect of a relevant level of long working hours on the incidence of or mortality due to stroke, compared with the theoretical minimum risk exposure level (i.e. 35–40 h/week). Study appraisal and synthesis methods: At least two review authors will independently screen titles and abstracts against the eligibility criteria at a first stage and full texts of potentially eligible records at a second stage, followed by extraction of data from qualifying studies. At least two review authors will assess risk of bias and the quality of evidence, using the most suited tools currently available. For Systematic Review 2, if feasible, we will combine relative risks using meta-analysis. We will report results using the guidelines for accurate and transparent health estimates reporting (GATHER) for Systematic Review 1 and the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines (PRISMA) for Systematic Review 2. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017060124.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-378
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironment International
StatePublished - Oct 2018


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