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S1 A New, Efficient Web-based Tool To Collect And Code Lifetime Job Histories In Large Population-based Studies: The Copd Project In The Uk Biobank Cohort
  1. S De Matteis1,
  2. D Jarvis1,
  3. M Wheatley1,
  4. H Azhar1,
  5. A Young2,
  6. H Young2,
  7. L Rushton1,
  8. P Cullinan1
  1. 1Imperial College London, London, UK
  2. 2Oxford University, Oxford, UK


Introduction and objectives The manual collection and coding of job histories is the standard method for assessing occupational exposure, but may be infeasible for large population-based studies such as the UK Biobank cohort.

Our aim was to develop a new web-based tool to automatically collect and code individual lifetime job histories in the UK Biobank cohort for investigating the causes and burden of work-related COPD in the UK.

Methods UK Biobank is a population-based cohort of 502,682 subjects, aged 40–69 years, recruited in 2006–2010. Baseline spirometry data, current employment and smoking histories were collected. We developed a job questionnaire based on the hierarchical structure of the standard occupational classification (SOC) 2000 to allow participants to automatically self-collect and code their lifetime job histories. The web-based prototype ( was pre-piloted in May–August 2013 among key job sectors using snowball sampling together with a feedback survey.

Results 171 subjects participated in both the pre-piloting and feedback survey. 91% completed the questionnaire in <20 min, 85% considered the instructions clear, and 80% found their job categories/titles easily. Overall, 96% judged the questionnaire to be clear and easy. A revised questionnaire has now been designed and will be accessible from different media including PCs/laptops, tablets and smart phones to encourage high response. A demonstration version will be made available to conference participants.

Conclusions Our web-based job questionnaire is an efficient new standard tool for collecting and automatically coding lifetime job histories in large population-based studies and is adaptable for use in many occupational and environmental health research projects.

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