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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: Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE's) are used within the occupational rehabilitation arena with the aim of assessing an individual's functional abilities in relation to work tasks. Therapists use a variety of different FCE's, both standardized and non standardized. This study aimed to investigate therapists' views on the clinical utility of FCE's in general and to identify if these differed between professional groups. A cross sectional study design was used. Health professionals who conduct FCE's and…who worked for WorkCover accredited rehabilitation providers in NSW were surveyed. Surveys were returned from 79 participants working for 65 different rehabilitation providers. Of those who replied, 82\% (n=63) were occupational therapists, 13% (n=10) physiotherapists and 5% (n=5) exercise physiologists. The mean years of professional experience was 10.9 years and the mean years of FCE experience was 5.3 years. Data were analyzed using STATA [v8.0] and the clinical utility of FCE's was considered relating to: usefulness & relevance; adaptability and flexibility; therapist perceived requirements and issues in practice. No differences were found related to the clinical utility of FCE's between professional groups or years of professional experience. The results suggest consistency and similarities in how FCE's are currently used in practice across NSW (Australia). Limitations of this study and areas for further research are suggested.
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to explore the perceptions of occupational and physical therapy staff regarding a minimal lift policy implemented in a midwestern health system. Researchers used a qualitative focus group approach, facilitating four focus groups with 23 members of the hospital therapy staff. Transcripts of the focus groups were coded and analyzed for emergent themes. Several themes emerged from the data: Therapist risk of injury, Attitudes towards and use of equipment, Professional relationships…and teamwork, and Effectiveness of minimal lift programs: barriers and supports. In general, therapists felt they were susceptible to work-related injury because of the nature of their work, environmental factors, and the actions of others. The therapists served as trainers in the minimal lift program. They trained other staff in equipment use; were resources for staff on the floors; and they used the equipment in the context of therapeutic intervention. Equipment was seen as useful primarily for the rehabilitation of low functioning or bariatric patients. Further research about the design and effect of equipment in therapy is recommended.
Abstract: Background: Lifestyle determinants of depressive state and a feeling of unhappiness in daily life were evaluated among the workers in Japan by adjusting obesity and age. Methods: A total of 3630 men aged 34 to 60 years from a workplace in Japan participated in this cross-sectional study conducted in 2006. The prevalence of depressive state and a feeling of unhappiness were evaluated by a questionnaire with questions pertaining to the age, body mass index,…and six lifestyle factors. The six lifestyle factors were frequency of exercise and alcohol intake per week, smoking habit, hours of sleep per day, and frequency of eating breakfast and snack per week. The associations between depressive state and/or a feeling of unhappiness and the lifestyle factors were tested by logistic regression analysis. Results: The prevalence of depressive state and a feeling of unhappiness among the workers was 8.1% and 20.3%, respectively. The prevalence of workers who sleep at least for 6~hours on average, exercise regularly and eat breakfast everyday increased as the age of the workers increased. Depressive state and a feeling of unhappiness were significantly associated with age and a reduced duration of sleep even after adjustment for the other variables. No significant associations were found between the other lifestyle factors examined and depressive state and/or a feeling of unhappiness. Conclusions: Depressive state and/or a feeling of unhappiness were significantly associated with a reduced duration of sleep among the workers. Aging was a preventative factor of depressive state and/or a feeling of unhappiness. The effect of obesity was adjusted in this study, but the cause-effect relation between lifestyles and depressive state and/or a feeling of unhappiness should be clarified by the follow-up study.
Abstract: The continuation of older people in the paid workforce is regarded as beneficial for both the economy and older workers. While there have been attempts to encourage older people to continue working, little is understood about older workers' perspectives. This qualitative study explored the lived experiences and perceptions of paid workers aged 60 years and older with the aim of understanding why older people continue to work and the barriers and facilitators they encounter. Sixteen older…Australians (eight males and eight females, mean age 67 years) who participated in paid employment for at least 12 hours per month were interviewed. Thematic analysis elicited themes of benefits of work, problems encountered at work and the ways in which older people respond to these challenges. Financial considerations, the desire to contribute and the absence of competing interests were reasons given for continuing involvement in work. Older workers identified stress, lack of support, physical demands and overemphasis on qualifications as barriers to their participation. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, having a passion for work, and education were factors that participants identified as supporting continued work. These findings enhance the understanding of the experiences of older workers and may have implications for encouraging workforce participation of older people.
Abstract: Introduction: On the basis of a motivational framework for return to work (RTW) after sickness absence, scales were developed to measure absentee attitudes towards RTW, perceived social norm with respect to RTW, RTW self-efficacy, RTW motivation, and the RTW attitudes of six types of key actors. Methods: Both theory and 33 in-depth interviews with sickness absentees and occupational physicians produced 95 items. A sample of 119 absentees who had reported sick for more than…one month completed these items. Absentees varied with respect to gender, age, educational level, and work sector. Results: Factor analyses and reliability analyses yielded seventeen scales with sufficient reliability (Cronbach's α: 0.60–0.86). Conclusions: The new scales appear to be valid and promising for future research on RTW. Validation in larger samples is necessary and the predictive validity should to be tested.
Keywords: Return-to-work, motivation, attitude, self-efficacy, social norm, measures
Abstract: The objective of the study was to identify determinants of work presence, i.e. factors that counteract short and/or long term sickness absence. The analyses were based on logistic regression analyses on Swedish regional survey data. Individuals who had not reported sickness absence during the preceding year were compared to on one hand individuals with short term sickness absence (< 28 days) and on the other hand with long term sickness absence (> 28 days). We found…predictors of work presence in personal background as well as in work related variables. A high level of sense of coherence was found to counteract short as well as long term sickness absence. Gender specific differences were observed. Although a set of predictors common for the short and long term perspective were found the predictors in general were found to differentiate substantially with respect to short or long term sickness absence. Implications for sickness absence prevention and health promotion could be drawn from the results. Primarily different aspects of control over working situation, work satisfaction and for women a high level of sense of coherence were believed to have these implications.
Keywords: Sickness absence, work presence, work related factors, sense of coherence
Abstract: The self-rated musculoskeletal discomfort, hand grip strength, tapping speed, and low back and hamstring flexibility (based on a sit and reach task) were assessed in 291 professional computer users. They were then randomized as Yoga (YG; n=146) and Wait-list control (WL; n=145) groups. Follow-up assessments for both groups were after 60 days during which the YG group practiced yoga for 60 minutes daily, for 5 days in a week. The WL group spent the same time…in their usual recreational activities. At the end of 60 days, the YG group (n=62) showed a significant decrease in the frequency, intensity and degree of interference due to musculoskeletal discomfort, an increase in bilateral hand grip strength, the right hand tapping speed, and low back and hamstring flexibility (repeated measures ANOVA and post hoc analysis with Bonferroni adjustment). In contrast, the WL group (n=56) showed an increase in musculoskeletal discomfort and a decrease in left hand tapping speed. The results suggest that yoga practice is a useful addition to the routine of professional computer users.
Abstract: The US construction workforce is aging as millions of baby boomers move toward retirement age. Older workers make a substantial contribution to construction in terms of skills and experience. However, construction is still one of the most physically demanding occupations, hence the health implications for older workers. Descriptions of injuries, illnesses and fatalities among older workers in the US construction industry from recent literature are presented along with the practical health and safety interventions that have…been proposed including: ergonomic interventions, wellness programs, worksite housekeeping, training, and safety climate. Understanding the risks and hazards in specific industries could help identify training and intervention requirements to meet the challenges facing aging workers in these occupational groups.
Keywords: Aging workforce, ergonomics, health interventions, occupational injury, construction
Abstract: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) account for the majority of total morbidity cases in the working-age Swedish population. These disorders are thought to be the reason given for one-third of total certified sick leave requests. In addition to the high cost to society, MSD involve both physical and emotional suffering, pain and financial and social problems for the injured persons. The aim of this study was to identify predictive multidimensional factors for sustainable return to work…(RTW) in a long-term follow-up persons with MSD. During the period 1992–1999, 385 persons participated in a rehabilitation program. Ten years later, 354 of these took part in a prospective follow-up study. The average post-rehabilitation time was ten years (range=7–13 years) and 243 persons (69%) completed a questionnaire. The "working full-time" group (n=110) and the "sick-listed" group (n=73) were included in the study. The two groups were compared in terms of predictors for RTW. Multiple stepwise logistic regression and bivariate analysis, as well as parametric and non-parametric tests, were used to identify predictive factors. The number of sick-listed days before rehabilitation, age, self-rated pain, life events, gender, physical capacity, self-rated functional capacity, educational level and light physical labor were predictors of long-term RTW. Return to work an be facilitated by planning at an early stage of the certified sick leave period using instrument that take these predictors into account.
Keywords: Functional capacity, multidimensional factors, musculoskeletal disorders, pain, physical capacity, predictive factors, returning to work, certified sick leave, work capacity