Manuel Cifuentes, M.D., Sc.D. has more than 15 years of clinical experience as a psychiatrist and occupational mental health specialist. In the US he has worked as an occupational disability researcher for Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. Currently, he is employed as a professor of e...
Manuel Cifuentes, M.D., Sc.D. has more than 15 years of clinical experience as a psychiatrist and occupational mental health specialist. In the US he has worked as an occupational disability researcher for Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety. Currently, he is employed as a professor of epidemiology at the Department of Work Environment at UMass Lowell and is focused on teaching quantitative analysis and research skills. His publications have been about the impact on mental health of psychosocial working conditions of public school teachers, healthcare workers, and public transportation drivers in Chile. He has addressed the impact of job strain on survey participation and the benefits of using public data (O*NET) to supply information on job level psychosocial and biomechanical working conditions in order to evaluate the health risks associated with diverse patterns of job exposure. He has also published in clinical journals (Spine, PAIN) focusing on work disability related aspects, with emphasis on the iatrogenic effects of opioid use to ameliorate musculoskeletal pain due to occupational causes.
Since one year ago he has been building a collaborative effort to study the effect of office work on workers’ health. His qualitative study about the usability of treadmill workstations is the first product of this effort. An important goal after this study is to improve the design of treadmill workstations to increase their usability and, potentially, their beneficial health impact. Additionally, he is gaining access to biomarker assessment devices to measure the impact of office working conditions on metabolic status.
Currently, he is proud of being part of a research team with his graduate students, who, at this moment, are writing four manuscripts related to work organization, psychosocial exposure and mental and cardiovascular health in the Chilean workforce. He collaborates with other research teams studying stress among workers of Peruvian manufacturing companies, post-traumatic stress disorders among survivors of occupational accidents in Ecuador, mental health of World Trade Center survivors, work exposure and health of green collar workers in the US, and other health outcomes in Danish and Swedish workers.