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WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary, international journal which publishes high quality peer-reviewed manuscripts covering the entire scope of the occupation of work. The journal's subtitle has been deliberately laid out: The first goal is the prevention of illness, injury, and disability. When this goal is not achievable, the attention focuses on assessment to design client-centered intervention, rehabilitation, treatment, or controls that use scientific evidence to support best practice.
WORK occasionally publishes thematic issues, but in general, issues cover a wide range of topics such as ergonomic considerations with children, youth and students, the challenges facing an aging workforce, workplace violence, injury management, performing artists, ergonomic product evaluations, and the awareness of the political, cultural, and environmental determinants of health related to work.
Dr. Karen Jacobs, the founding editor, and her editorial board especially encourage the publication of research studies, clinical practice, case study reports, as well as personal narratives and critical reflections of lived work experiences (autoethnographic/autobiographic scholarship),
Sounding Board commentaries and
Speaking of Research articles which provide the foundation for better understanding research to facilitate knowledge dissemination.
Narrative Reflections on Occupational Transitions, a new column, is for persons who have successfully transitioned into, between, or out of occupations to tell their stories in a narrative form. With an internationally renowned editorial board,
WORK maintains high standards in the evaluation and publication of manuscripts. All manuscripts are reviewed expeditiously and published in a timely manner.
WORK prides itself on being an author-friendly journal.
WORK celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2015.
*WORK is affiliated with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)* *WORK is endorsed by the International Ergonomics Association (IEA)* *WORK gives out the yearly Cheryl Bennett Best Paper Award*
Abstract: Sick leave has negative economic consequences for companies. The aim of this study was to implement the model Organizational Rehabilitation in two departments at an industrial company in the county of Jämtland, Sweden, to see if it was possible to reduce the costs due to sick leave. The rehabilitation model consisted of three steps and combined economy and productivity with a good psychosocial work environment, measuring the result in costs. Step 1 consisted of a problem…inventory among all co-workers, step 2 semi structured interviews with all co-workers regarding how they experience their work environment and step 3 individual agreements regarding rehabilitation interventions, i.e. interventions where the individual's specific needs and wishes outlined the foundation for rehabilitation measures with the objective of increasing work capacity. The costs were measured at the start and end of the project. The study showed that it is indeed possible to reduce both sick leave and costs. During the study, the organization reduced current sick leave from 12% (2003) to 3% (Nov. 2004) and the costs per employee from €1 860 per month (2003) to €440 per month (Nov. 2004). This will make an estimated saving for 2005 of €470 000. It should be noted that the study is small and should not be generalized, but may be seen as a positive indication regarding the model organizational rehabilitation. Further research is needed.
Keywords: Sick leave, vocational rehabilitation, work environment
Abstract: Recent research has demonstrated that forearm support might be preferable to working in the traditional "floating" posture for computer users. A previous field study in a call centre reported a significant decrease in discomfort following 12 weeks of using a conventional desk for forearm support . The aim of this follow up study was to determine the long-term effect (21 months post intervention) of forearm support on reported musculoskeletal discomfort in the previous sample of intensive…computer users. Methods: The follow-up sample consisted of 33 females and 2 males (59% of original group). Data were collected via self-report questionnaires and workstation assessments. Results: Despite a significant reduction in discomfort for most body regions following the initial intervention, the only significant decrease in discomfort over 21 months was for the neck. Reported discomfort for all other body regions had decreased, apart from the shoulder in which there was a reported increase in discomfort. The results of this follow up study indicate that forearm support has a positive effect on the reduction of neck discomfort. The increase in shoulder discomfort indicates that a concave desk may be preferable to the conventional desk if the forearm support posture is to be adopted.
Abstract: This research study intended to determine which patient diagnostic group benefited most from an extended care psychiatric rehabilitation program (Program). Archival data were used to assess the completion rates among those subjected to one or more of the Program's treatment modalities. A correlational design was used to determine whether demographic or diagnostic variables were related to program completion. The results indicate that patients with a diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder or bipolar disorder are the most…likely diagnostic groups to benefit from participation in an extended care psychiatric rehabilitation program. Those patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or substance abuse may not be appropriate for this type of treatment program, and in this study, were the least likely to benefit.
Abstract: Workers with disabilities are entitled to have their individual needs accommodated in a way that allows them to perform the essential duties of their job. However, adults with disabilities are often lacking in career development and are ill-prepared to negotiate workplace accommodations. This has led educators to seek workplaces that can accommodate the needs of adolescents with disabilities, so these adolescents can learn to negotiate accommodations and enhance their career development through work-based…education. This paper reports on two case studies in which employers had agreed to accommodate the needs of adolescents with disabilities participating in work-based education. Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT) framed the analyses of these two cases – a case of a student with physical disabilities and a case of a student with developmental disabilities. SCCT proves valuable in understanding the role of work-based education in the career development of disabled youth.
Keywords: Disabilities, career development, work-based education
Abstract: The welfare sector in Sweden has undergone extensive changes during the last 15 years, and private and cooperative actors have entered the public market. In the light of high sick-leave rates, especially in female-dominated professions, it is important to identify factors that can help to improve the working conditions and promote health among employees. The purpose of this study was to compare how two of these factors, participation and control, are perceived by employees in three…different forms of ownership: public, cooperative and private. In all, 186 employees working at seven geriatric care institutions with three ownership forms were invited to participate in the study. 82% responded to a questionnaire containing issues related to working conditions, e.g. control and participation. The one-way ANOVA and Kruskal-Wallis were used to analyse the findings among the three groups of employees working in public, cooperative or private setting. Results showed that employees in cooperatives experienced more participation than employees working in the public and private sectors in two out of four variables – employee's voice concerning work environment issues and sympathetic response from the manager and decision-making concerning work activities at large. As expected, there were no difference in perceived control between ownership forms, which might be explained by the fact that the work nature in geriatric care is rather regulated, restricted and formalized, regardless of ownership form, resulting in limited freedom over the work situation for the individual employee.
Keywords: Control, participation, health promotion, public, cooperative, private
Abstract: In previous studies, internal locus of control (ILC) has been pointed out as a key factor for return to work after vocational rehabilitation. The aim of the current study was to gain a deeper understanding of the concept of ILC in a Swedish vocational rehabilitation context. The study was based on data from 347 long-term sick-listed clients collected at the onset of vocational rehabilitation. A first bi-variate analysis showed that ILC was positively associated with physical…functioning and general health, and negatively associated with bodily pain. The analysis also showed that women, more than men, reported high internal locus of control. After a second multivariate analysis, only bodily pain remained associated. It is concluded that there exist a strong and negative association between bodily pain and internal locus of control. Clients with severe pain often also suffer from low internal locus of control. This should be kept in mind when providing vocational rehabilitation.
Abstract: Background: The relationship between total sleep time and activity levels during work before or after sleep in two rotating work shifts was compared. Method: Monitoring of activity levels using an activity-detecting device in the wrist was conducted in 17 rotating shift workers, who ranged in age from 34 to 55 years. The work shifts, consisting of a morning shift (6:30 to 15:15 hours) and an evening shift (15:15 to 24:00 hours), were rotated on…a weekly basis. Partial correlation coefficient was calculated after controlling for age. Results: The total sleep time after the morning shift was significantly related to the activity count before sleep (r=−0.42) or after sleep (r=−0.36). There was also a significant relationship between total sleep time after the evening shift and the activity count before sleep (r=−0.39) or after sleep (r=−0.32). The mean total sleep time of the subjects for the morning shift was 349 minutes, which was significantly lower than that after the evening shift (382 minutes). In addition, the activity count during the morning shift was significantly higher than that during the evening shift. Conclusions: The negative relationship between sleep time and activity before or after sleep became clear in shift workers.
Abstract: This study aimed to elicit perceptions and experiences of facilitators and barriers that affected individuals who received back rehabilitation and their ability to resume their worker roles. Qualitative research methods were used in order to explore the research question. Participants were selected by means of simple random sampling and the data were collected by means of semi-structured focus groups. Some factors that were seen as facilitatory in maintaining the worker role of an individual who received…back rehabilitation included injury management strategies, a positive work culture and having meaningful/satisfactory work experiences. Factors or barriers that prevented individuals from resuming their worker roles included physical and psychosocial stressors of the job, a lack of education by the employer and inadequate workplace policy. The results indicated that occupational therapists need to reassess their role within the wider context of the helping professions where they should become more involved in on-the-job evaluations, work placements and training of individuals who received back rehabilitation.
Abstract: Limited information of occupational injury statistics within academic settings exists. Universities and colleges are an important and insightful work environment due to the varied nature of the work performed by employee groups. The objective of this study was to describe occupational injuries for all work groups in a large research intensive university. A retrospective database analysis was conducted on 2029 employee incident reports over a five year period (2000–2004) to determine general and departmental…prevalence of injury types, locations, and mechanisms. Demographic analysis revealed an average age of 42 years and 9 years of work experience. Overall, the most frequent injuries were to the hand (40%), were musculoskeletal in nature (42%), and resulted from being "struck or contacted by" (33%). The greatest number of incidents occurred in food services, followed by physical plant and staff services. Closer examination of incidents reported by food services indicated 53% of injuries occurred to the hand and 72% required first aid. Notable too was that 19% of physical plant injuries occurred to the back, but these reports accounted for 40% of total back injuries and 50% of all lost time claims in the total database. Further epidemiological research in academic institutions is needed to better understand the inherent injury risk in this work sector.