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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: Objective: Top-level managers make important decisions about safety-related issues, yet little research has been done involving these individuals. The current study explored corporate financial decisions makers' perceptions of their company's safety and their justifications for these perceptions. This study also explored whether their perceptions and justifications varied as a function of company size or industry injury risk. Participants: A total of 404 individuals who were the most senior managers responsible for making decisions about property…and casualty risk at their companies participated in this study. Methods: The participants took part in a telephone survey. Results: The results suggest that corporate financial decision makers have positive views of safety at their companies relative to safety at other companies within their industries. Further, many believe their company's safety is influenced by the attention/emphasis placed on safety and the selection and training of safety personnel. Participants' perceptions varied somewhat based on the size of their company and the level of injury risk in their industry. Conclusions: While definitive conclusions about corporate financial decision makers' perceptions of safety cannot be reached as a result of this single study, this work does lay groundwork for future research aimed at better understanding the perceptions top-level managers.
Keywords: Occupational safety, top-level managers, company size, industry injury risk
Abstract: Objective: The Dutch population is healthy in terms of living and working conditions, but the levels of subjective health complaints (SHC) and sickness absence are high in the Dutch workforce. Are SHC related to sickness absence? Participants: The study population included the personnel of four companies: a library (n= 185), an administrative office (n=114), a cheese factory (n=201) and a company producing metal constructions (n=65). Methods: The employees received the Basic…Occupational Health Questionnaire including 22 common SHC. For each employee, the number and type of SHC but not their intensity was linked to the number of sickness absence episodes between January 2003 and December 2004. Results: The questionnaires of 409 employees (72%) were suitable for statistical analysis. The prevalence of SHC in the study population was 78% between January and June 2003. Employees who reported ⩾ 5 SHC had higher rates of both short (1–7 days) and medium (8–42 days) sickness absence episodes. Long (> 42 days) episodes were strongly related to SHC amounting to a rate ratio (RR) of 4.2 with a 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.7 to 10.4 in workers reporting multiple SHC relative to those without complaints. Fatigue was associated with medium duration sickness absence (RR=1.6; 95% CI 1.1–2.2) and musculoskeletal complaints, particularly low back pain (RR= 1.8; 95% CI 1.2–2.8), with long episodes. Conclusions: The number of SHC was related to sickness absence. The 20% of participants reporting most SHC were responsible for about 40% of work days lost in the two-year period of study.
Keywords: Health, subjective health complaints, illness, sickness, sickness absence
Abstract: Objective: Obesity has become a major public health concern in the United States, and has ultimately affected occupational health, including Workers' Compensation. Obesity has been determined to contribute to work-related injury. This analysis examined weight change post-injury during the Workers' compensation rehabilitation process, and specifically how it relates to perceived mental health need, perceived dietary habits, food stamp usage, and the amount of time since the work injury. Methods: Archival data analysis was conducted…examining Workers' Compensation claimants over a four year period. Participants: Data was collected from 1,864 valid Workers' Compensation claims and analyzed using descriptive statistics and a backwards elimination multiple regression analysis to examine predictive relationships between the variables of interest. Results: Approximately 2/3 of the sample reported weight gain post-injury, with the additional 1/3 reporting weight loss or no change. Both perceived benefit from mental health services and perceived healthy dietary habits were significantly predictive of weight gain. Conclusions: Clinical psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety, may be contributory factors to weight gain, and poor perceptions in food quality and caloric estimations may also relate to this problem. Suggestions for future research, including intervention studies, are also included.
Abstract: Objective: Job-related distress has often been found to be related with low social support at work. The question is whether dimensions of social support outside work have a similar relation with job-anxiety or whether they are independent. Participants: A sample of 154 employed inpatients from a psychosomatic rehabilitation center (70% women) participated in this study. Methods: Participants completed self-rating questionnaires on perceived symptom load in the domain of work (job-anxiety) and in general life (general…psychosomatic symptom load), and on perceived social support at work and outside work. Results: Job-anxiety showed moderate correlations with the perceived level of social support through colleagues. Thereby the social support dimensions of "consolation and encouragement" and "criticism, overload, rejection" were more strongly related to job-anxiety than the dimension of "practical support". There were no significant correlations between job-anxiety and social support through household members, leisure time partners or neighbors. Conclusions: Social support is in a specific way important in the context of work other than concerning general mental health outside the work-context. Job-anxiety is a domain-specific clinical phenomenon and independent from perceived social support outside the workplace.
Keywords: Social support, participation disorders, job-anxiety, anxiety disorders
Abstract: Studies emphasizing the disability pension (DP) process are rare. Objective: To identify similarities and differences in work and health between persons who, prior to DP changed jobs due to health-reasons (health-selectors) to other disability pensioners. Participants: a retrospective cohort study was performed on a random sample of all individuals in three counties of Sweden who, in 1998, were under the age of 65 and had been granted DP. Methods: A questionnaire was administered in 2000 (n=917, response rate…52%). The responses and register data on sickness absence in 1990--1998 and DP diagnoses were analysed. Results: The health-selection group had lower self-perceived health; more partial sick-leave days during the eight years preceding DP, and DP diagnoses were more often musculoskeletal and psychiatric disorders, than the other disability pensioners. The groups did not differ regarding occupational affiliation before the last job. For subjects in the health-selection group, the job change did more often not involve a change of employer, and more had switched to jobs entailing less physical strain, particularly customer service work. Work history did not differ between the groups regarding the average level of physical work demands during the work career, however, disparities were found in the distribution of demands. Conclusions: The findings pinpoint the importance of studying disability pensioning as a process over time in order to identify and elucidate how exposure and selection interact and contribute to early exclusion from the labour market.
Abstract: Objective: To determine whether the processes of task performance as measured by the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS) would discriminate between the employment levels of adults with schizophrenia. Participants: Twenty adults with schizophrenia who were engaged either in competitive employment, supported employment, prevocational training, or non-vocational activities, participated in this exploratory study. Methods: Each participant completed the AMPS, the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), and the…Worker Role Interview (WRI) to gather data about their occupational performance, symptoms, drug / alcohol use, and psychosocial / environmental factors that might influence their work-related outcomes. Results: Analysis revealed a moderate correlation between the level of employment and the global scores of the process skills scale in the AMPS. Conclusions: This should be seen as preliminary evidence that beyond the basic cognitive functions, processes of task performance may also be a predictor of work-related outcomes for this population. The results also highlighted the importance of considering personal causation and worker roles when assessing the work capacities of these clients. Finally, findings supported the four levels of employment used in this study, which appeared to form a continuum from non-vocational activities, prevocational training, supported employment, through to competitive employment.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, employment, vocational performance, work capacity evaluation, assessment of motor and process skills
Abstract: Objective: This study examined the vocational outcomes of young persons with early psychosis after their participation in an occupational therapy program, and identified clinical or process variables that are linked to the vocational outcomes. Participants: A total of 147 clients, aged between 15 and 25, with early psychosis or schizophrenia participated in this study. Methods: A retrospective review of case management plans and outcomes was conducted. A survey form was designed to…record demographic and clinical variables, and a follow-up telephone interview was conducted to monitor the vocational status of clients during the first three months after discharge. Results: Although none of the clients had been engaged in work prior to participation in the programme, 53.7% could maintain a productive role in work (27.2%) or training/education (16.3%) in the three-month follow-up. Better mental condition and insight, stronger motivation for joining treatment, better social support, longer work history, and a shorter period of idleness before joining the programme, were significantly related to more favourable vocational outcomes. Older clients and those with more years of education were more likely to maintain a worker role. Parents were much more conservative about the future work plan than the clients themselves. Conclusions: Symptom management, work habit training, enrichment of the work experience, building social support and cultivation of insight into illness were important strategies related to the successful adoption of a productive role.
Keywords: Early psychosis, occupational therapy, outcome
Abstract: Objectives: Research on health effects of managerial leadership has only taken established work environment factors into account to a limited extent. We therefore investigated the associations between a measure of Attentive Managerial Leadership (AML), and perceived stress, age-relative self-rated health, and sickness absence due to overstrain/fatigue, adjusting for the dimensions of the Demand-Control-Support model. Participants: Blue- and white-collar workers from Finland, Germany and Sweden employed in a multi-national forest industry company (N=12,622).…Methods: Cross-sectional data on leadership and health from a company-wide survey analysed with logistic regression in different subgroups. Results: AML was associated with perceived stress, age-relative self-rated health, and sickness absence due to overstrain/fatigue after controlling for the Demand-Control-Support model. Lack of AML was significantly associated with a high stress level in all subgroups (OR=1.68–2.67). Associations with age-relative self-rated health and sickness absence due to overstrain/fatigue were weaker, but still significant, and in the expected direction for several of the subgroups studied, suggesting an association between lack of AML and negative health consequences. Conclusion: The study indicates that managerial leadership is associated with employee stress, health, and sickness absence independently of the Demand-Control-Support model and should be considered in future studies of health consequences for employees, and in work environment interventions.
Keywords: Demands, control, social support, stress, self-rated health
Abstract: Objective: Work-related injuries (WRI) are costly to employers and the United States government due to missed days at work and medical expenses. This case report documents the results of using ergonomic and behavioral changes to address a client's symptoms due to a WRI. Participant: The client worked as an administrative assistant at a small, private medical college and presented with lateral epicondylitis. Method: She received ergonomic and behavioral interventions to treat her…injury that included modification to her work environment and education on modifying behaviors that would decrease stress and excessive work. Results: The client reported decreased headaches with improved lighting and increased tolerance to typing with the addition of a keyboard tray, but not elimination of her chief complaints with the tray, floor mat, and behavioral changes. Conclusion: Some interventions that occurred at the client's desk resulted in decreased secondary symptoms. No improvements in the primary symptoms were found.