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Occupational Assessment and Centralised Repository for Coal Mine Dust Lung Disease

Underground » Health and Safety

Published: November 20Project Number: C27010

Get ReportAuthor: Katrina Newbigin, Rhiannon McBean, Katrina Kildey and Annaleis Tatkovic | I-Med Radiology Network

This two stage project involved the development of a centralised repository of CMDLD cases as a resource for medical research. The aim of this project was two-fold; to develop a centralised repository of coal mine workers diagnosed with a CMDLD, and to develop a short, streamlined questionnaire as a tool to aid in data collection to populate the centralised repository. The aim of the centralised repository is to be a resource for improving our understanding of the spectrum of diagnoses, the severity of disease and the occupational histories leading to diagnosis.

During the course of this project it was identified that a short questionnaire would not fulfil the ultimate aim of populating a comprehensive centralised repository. As a result, the project was modified and following development of the centralised repository, it was populated by the researchers via retrospective review of patients' medical charts and summary letters. Medical information was collected to gather information pertaining to the diagnosis of CMDLD. This included a review of medical charts, imaging and spirometry from the point of diagnosis. Summary letters were used to collect information on the individual's occupational history, their smoking history and respiratory symptoms.

Data collection methods for populating the centralised repository have been fine-tuned, following determination that review by researchers was a better approach than seeking to develop a questionnaire for completion by individuals with CMDLD. It is hoped the centralised repository and the comprehensive data it contains will prove an invaluable resource for current and future research work. With ongoing support, the foundational repository built this year will lead to greater knowledge of these diseases and their status in Queensland, both at the present and in the years to come.

The first stage of this project (completed in 2019) investigated recently diagnosed cases of CMDLD in Queensland coal miners, following the re-identification of these occupational lung diseases in 2015. Outcomes for both stages are published together.

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