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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: Measures of accessibility typically focus on the physical environment and aspects relating to getting into and out of spaces. The transient sound environment is less well characterized in typical accessibility measures. Hearing accessibility measures can be based upon physical indices or functional assessment. The physical measures are indices that use signal-to-noise ratios to evaluate audibility while the functional assessment tool adopts universal design for hearing (UDH) principles derived from principles of universal…design. The UDH principles include (1) Optimization of the hearing environment for all; (2) Optimization of interactions between persons and objects to promote better hearing in an environment; (3) Optimization of opportunities for people to have multiple choices of interactions with one another; (4) Optimization of opportunities for people to perform different activities in and across environments; (5) Optimization of opportunities for people to have safe, private, and secure use of the environment while minimizing distraction, interference, or cognitive loading; and (6) Optimization of opportunities for people to use the environment without extra steps for hearing access during preparatory, use and/or after use phases. This paper compares the two approaches using case examples from post-secondary classrooms in order to describe the potential advantages and limitations of each.
Keywords: Hearing loss, communication access, universal design, university classrooms
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The goal of this review was to list and summarize work-related health programs for employees with hearing difficulties and to summarize the statistical evidence of the effectiveness of these programs. METHODS: A systematic review was performed by searching the PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, and The Cochrane Library databases for relevant citations. From 2313 unique citations retrieved from the search strategy, we included nine programs that met all inclusion criteria. The authors assessed the methodological…quality of studies which evaluated the program's effectiveness, using the Downs and Black checklist. RESULTS: Nine vocational rehabilitation programs for people with hearing difficulties were described. The programs differed in procedure, duration, setting, and content. In four studies, the effectiveness of the program was explored statistically. Measurements showed an improvement in general health (SF-36), communication strategies, and the degree of work readiness, but none of these studies included a control group, a power calculation, nor adjusted for confounding. Hence, the methodological quality to provide evidence of effectiveness was assessed as poor. DISCUSSION: Existing vocational programs for employees with hearing difficulties provide relevant information to demonstrate how to implement the appropriate content of the programs. Future research is required to improve the strength of evidence of the effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation for workers with hearing difficulties.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: There is a paucity of knowledge about social identity-management by persons with hearing loss. The objective of the study was to gain an understanding from the perspective of the participants, the ways in which workers with acquired hearing loss manage their identity in the workplace. PARTICIPANTS: Twelve persons with acquired hearing loss, who were gainfully employed in a variety of settings and occupations in three Canadian cities, participated in audio-recorded semi-structured interviews.…METHODS: A secondary qualitative analysis was conducted on transcripts of interviews collected in a previous study on factors that influence disclosure of hearing loss in the workplace. A qualitative descriptive research paradigm was adopted and content analyses were used to extract pertinent information from verbatim transcripts. RESULTS: Participants described a range of identity-management strategies enacted in the workplace. Five recurrent themes emerged as important considerations in the Art of Identity Management in the workplace: 1. Managing the situation, 2. Having a buddy system, 3. Feeling comfortable, 4. Using personal resources, 5. It gets easier with time. CONCLUSIONS: Social identity-management is a complex process. Although persons with acquired hearing loss experience different challenges from other persons with invisible stigmas, similarities in the range of social identity-management strategies employed were evident in our findings. In addition, the social cognitive learning model of disclosure appears to be relevant to the experiences of our participants. The implications of the findings emphasize the importance of all stakeholders working collaboratively to address the issues of the growing population of workers with hearing loss.
Abstract: This Sounding Board article will briefly review the biopsychosocial impact of hearing loss. It will consider the individual and employment; the laws supporting employment and the current vocational rehabilitation system assisting people with hearing loss remain in the workplace. It concludes with the author's suggestion of three systematic changes to enhance the employee's workplace success.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: The perspectives of persons who live and work with hearing loss were sought to examine workplace accommodation challenges and strategies. PARTICIPANTS: A convenience sample of seven older adults with hearing loss participated in in-depth interviews. METHODS: A systematic grounded theory approach informed the study design and analysis. Categories of facilitators and challenges in the data were identified through axial coding and clustering. Core categories of social processes emerged through constant comparison…and theoretical sampling of the data to reveal the actions and interactions used to negotiate or implement adaptations or workplace accommodations. RESULTS: Persons with hearing loss use a realm of strategies to live and work with a hearing loss. Social processes used to navigate the challenges to working with hearing loss and to manage optimal work performance included: self-accommodation, self-advocacy, self-management of hearing loss, and lobbying. CONCLUSIONS: Success in overcoming work disparities for persons with hearing loss requires individuals to take control of identifying their needs within the workplace and at home, and to negotiate for specific accommodations. These strategies and processes draw attention to the need for a repository on contextualized workplace accommodation strategies for improving communication and hearing in the workplace. Further to this a best practice guide for use by workers, employers, and work rehabilitation and health care workers is indicated.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between hearing status, socioeconomic status and work status. PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional data of 18–64 year old participants (N=1888) from the National Longitudinal Study on Hearing (NL-SH) were used. Both normal hearing and hearing impaired subjects participated. METHODS: Hearing ability in noise was measured with the National Hearing test, an online speech-in-noise test. Educational level, monthly income, being primary income earner and working status (i.e. paid employment, unemployed and…looking for work, unfit for work, voluntary work, household work, being a student, or taking early retirement, and the type of work contract) were assessed with a questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were applied. RESULTS: Participants with poorer hearing ability were less likely to be found in the upper categories of educational level and income, having paid work > 12 hours per week, being a student, or taking early retirement. On the other hand they were more likely to look for work or to be unfit for work. No associations were found with voluntary work and household work. DISCUSSION: Hearing ability seems to be related to both socioeconomic status and being employed. Our findings underline the importance of rehabilitation programs in audiology, aimed at supporting people with hearing impairment to help them to successfully enter or re-enter the workforce.
Keywords: Hearing impairment, (un)employed, socioeconomic status, voluntary work, household work