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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: The purpose of the Inclusive Indoor Play study was to learn about indoor play and develop design guidelines to inform design of inclusive playthings. PARTICIPANTS: Children with and without disabilities, parents, teachers, therapists, daycare owners and designers. METHODS: Focus group interviews; Children's drawings; and Indoor play simulation. RESULTS: The major findings suggest that: 1) play should encourage a child's creativity and develop imagination, 2) inclusive play concept must be…employed to design playthings for children with wide age group, 3) inclusive designs improve usability, broaden market appeal, and increase user base, and 4) customizable playthings help children with and without disabilities personalize play situations. Three play principles provide new directions to designing inclusive playthings: 1) offer many play opportunities, 2) provide many modes of play, and 3) include many levels of play challenges. CONCLUSIONS: Inclusive Design Guidelines were developed from the findings of three studies: Focus group interviews, Children's drawings, and Play simulation. The guidelines served as useful tools for inclusive design and they were employed to design of six indoor playthings. The playthings were instrumental in promoting social inclusion and they met the criteria of the Inclusive Indoor Play project.
Keywords: Play, children, universal design, play guidelines
vol. 44, no. Supplement 1, pp. 5-17, 2013
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to provide information to the reader on warnings and the use of warnings with children, to prevent accidental injuries. METHODS: A literature review was used to present research findings related to child warnings. RESULTS: This paper provides a basic introduction to accidental injuries, susceptibility of children, warnings, the effectiveness of warnings, and guidelines for designing effective warnings. CONCLUSION: While most warnings concerning children focus on adult…caregivers, there are warnings for children that appear effective, especially when combined with other methods of hazard control and injury prevention. Additional research on warnings geared toward children is needed.
Keywords: Warnings, children, injury prevention, hazard control
vol. 44, no. Supplement 1, pp. 19-28, 2013
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Exposure to lead-based paint or material has been found to impact children's cognitive and behavioral development at blood lead levels far below current standards. The purpose of the project was to screen for lead in toy items in daycare centers in order to raise awareness of inside environmental lead exposures and minimize lead-based exposures for children. METHODS: Occupational therapy students in a service learning class tested for lead in ten daycare or public centers…using the XRF Thermo Scientific Niton XL3t, a method accepted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). RESULTS: A total of 460 items were tested over a two-month period for an average of 66 toys per setting. Fifty six (56) items tested > 100 ppm, which represented 12% of the entire sample. Items with high lead levels included selected toys constructed with lead-based paint, lead metals, plastics using lead as a color enhancer, and decorative objects. CONCLUSION: While the actual number of lead-based products is small, the cumulative exposure or habitual use may pose an unnecessary risk to children. Indoor exposures occurred for all day care centers regardless of socio-economic levels. Recommendations to minimize exposures are provided.
Keywords: Childhood health promotion, environmental hazards, lead testing, occupational therapy
vol. 44, no. Supplement 1, pp. 29-38, 2013
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This report introduces evidence for the conclusion that a common theme underlies almost all proposed solutions for improving the performance of K-12 students, namely their reliance on the design of educational system environments, features and operations. METHODS AND RESULTS: Two categories of design factors impacting such performance are addressed: (1) 9 factors reliably shown to have a strong influence – namely environmental design of classroom and building facilities, longer exposure to learning, cooperative…learning designs, early childhood education, teaching quality, nutritional adequacy, participation in physical activity, good physical fitness, and school-community integration; and (2) 11 factors with an equivocal, varied or weak influence – classroom technology, online learning environments, smaller class size, school choice, school funding, school size, school start times, teacher training level, amount of homework, student self-confidence and informal learning. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that: (1) student learning outcomes, and more broadly the edifice of education itself, are largely defined in terms of an extensive system of design factors and conditions; (2) the time is long overdue for the educational system to acknowledge the central role of E/HF design as the major influence on student performance and learning; and (3) K-12 educators and administrators should emphasize allocation of resources to design factors reliably shown to have a strongly positive impact on student performance, but should treat expenditure on factors with equivocal, varied or weak influence on such performance with more caution and/or skepticism.
Abstract: Young people are exposed to a range of information technologies (IT) in different environments, including home and school, however the factors influencing IT use at home and school are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate young people's computer exposure patterns at home and school, and related factors such as age, gender and the types of IT used. 1351 children in Years 1, 6, 9 and 11 from 10 schools in metropolitan Western…Australia were surveyed. Most children had access to computers at home and school, with computer exposures comparable to TV, reading and writing. Total computer exposure was greater at home than school, and increased with age. Computer activities varied with age and gender and became more social with increased age, at the same time parental involvement reduced. Bedroom computer use was found to result in higher exposure patterns. High use of home and school computers were associated with each other. Associations varied depending on the type of IT exposure measure (frequency, mean weekly hours, usual and longest duration). The frequency and duration of children's computer exposure were associated with a complex interplay of the environment of use, the participant's age and gender and other IT activities.
Keywords: Ergonomics, human – machine interface, exposure, children, school, home
vol. 44, no. Supplement 1, pp. 61-71, 2013
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Assessing physical ergonomic factors within the classroom environment creates new opportunities to support designs that promote student well-being. Student-aged anthropometric data helps guide proper desk fit assessment, therefore facilitating scholastic performance through the reduction of distractions such as physical discomfort. OBJECTIVE: This study reports dimensions of fit between student anthropometry and the desk environment (classroom seating conditions), for grade-school aged children in Serbia. Measurements of the children and their…desks are compared to subjective reports of discomfort. PARTICIPANTS: Fifty-seven elementary school students, grade 2 (ages 7–8; n=29) and grade 4 (ages 9–10; n=28), were enrolled in this study. All participants were from the same elementary school in the city of Nis, Serbia. METHODS: Seventeen anthropometric measurements of students were collected using standard anthropometric instruments. Eight measurements of student work desks and chairs were also collected. Students were evaluated by a physiatrist to assess health issues and completed a novel questionnaire about musculoskeletal discomfort for different body parts. Student fit to the classroom seat and desk was assessed structurally and subjectively. Data analysis included descriptive anthropometric measurements and inferential statistics including Chi square analysis. RESULTS: Results indicated age-related differences in body part discomfort for grade 2 and grade 4 students, arm discomfort reported over 50% of second grade students, and neck/upper back discomfort was reported as the highest of all body parts (32%) for students in the fourth grade. CONCLUSION: Anthropometric variables and preliminary analysis of fit as it relates to reported discomfort are discussed, as are external factors of backpack use and seated video/computer-game use. International comparisons of anthropometric data are discussed and serve to inform new considerations of ergonomics research for school children.
Keywords: Primary school children, anthropometry, discomfort, musculoskeletal disorders
vol. 44, no. Supplement 1, pp. 73-81, 2013
Abstract: Pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of injury related death for children. The purpose of this research project was to determine the effectiveness of pedestrian and road traffic safety education with children, as part of the Walk This Way program through Safe Kids USA. Through the implementation of PHOTOVOICE, a project that captured children's narratives coinciding with a photograph, children engaged in community exploration to identify pedestrian hazards in their communities and explore possible solutions…utilizing their photography and narrations. Children participated in an engaging educational session, a community fieldtrip, and reflection. Results concluded that, despite a small increase in post test scores, an increase in awareness of hazards in the community and successful identification of community hazards was achieved. The goal of this research project was determine the effectiveness of a hands-on pedestrian and road traffic safety educational program with children. The results of this research project will be integrated with similar projects completed across the country through the program Walk This Way with Safe Kids USA. Both this research project and the Walk This Way program aim to promote behavior change in children and create safer communities to reduce pedestrian related injury. The overall goal of this research project andthe Walk This Way program is to increase education on a national level in regards to pedestrian safety for children and provide a basis for lobbying for public policy changes pertaining to road and pedestrian safety.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Children and adults involved in carpet weaving are prone to a number of health and safety problems. This paper describes initial impact of an ergonomically designed loom and work place modifications, to encourage young and adult workers to weave carpets and reduce the hazardous child labor in carpet weaving in the province of Punjab, Pakistan. METHODS: A new carpet loom with improved ergonomic and safety features suitable for adult carpet weavers was designed. Model carpet weaving…worksites based on the new loom and better work environment were created in 30 villages. The impact of new loom compared with the traditional looms was assessed through structured questionnaires and health examinations after 24 months. RESULTS: Adolescent (15–17 years) and adult (> 17 years) participants included 75 respondents (males 10.7%, n=8; females 89.3%, n=67) operating under the new conditions and 92 respondents (males 12%, n=11; females 88%, n=81) operating under traditional conditions. Results indicated an improvement of health related complaints among those working in the new conditions, most notable were the differences in joint pain (p=0.002) and respiratory health (p=0.02). Improvement of income was also reported by workers at model workplaces. Also, no children below the age of 14 were found to be working at the new looms. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that individuals who adopted new looms and workplace interventions reported less joint pain and better respiratory health than those working with traditional looms in a traditional work environment. By reducing the risks in the workplace, this ergonomic intervention has the potential to reduce or eliminate hazardous child labor from carpet weaving.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: During interviews with Health Care Specialist military cadre, instructors voiced concern that symptoms associated with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (SoADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (SoODD) were interfering with soldiers' ability to complete training. The purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between SoADHD and SoODD with soldiers' grade point average (GPA), Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) scores, and musculoskeletal injuries during Health Care Specialist (HCS) Advanced Individual Training…(AIT). METHOD: Participants included 122 soldiers attending HCS training. Participants completed a demographic survey and Barkley and Murphy's ADHD and ODD self-report symptom surveys. Their ADHD and ODD self-report scores were correlated with course performance metrics at the conclusion of their 16 weeks of training. RESULTS: Pearson Correlation Coefficients revealed a significant negative relationship between ratings on the Oppositional Defiant Disorder scale with soldiers' GPA (p < 0.05), however the relationship was weak – accounting for 4% of the variance. No significant findings were noted between SoADHD and GPA, nor were significant relationships found between SoADHD or SoODD with APFT scores or musculoskeletal injuries. CONCLUSION: Symptoms associated with ADHD and ODD had little impact on the academic and physical performance of soldiers attending HCS training. Implications and future research are explored, in this article.