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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: BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal complaints among housewives are very common around the world. In Bangladesh, although the majority of women are involved in various household activities, no studies were found related to musculoskeletal health and ergonomic risk factors for this work. OBJECTIVE: This study explored the prevalence of commonly affected body parts where the women experienced Musculoskeletal Symptoms (MSS), the disruption of normal activities due to the MSS, and the association of MSS with ergonomic physical risk…factors among women engaging in regular household activities in a rural village of Bangladesh. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were women aged 20–45 in a small village in Bangladesh who were involved in regular household activities for at least 5 hours a day for the past year. METHOD: A total of 73 women were found eligible though door-to-door home visits to determine the prevalence of MSS. Women who had already been diagnosed with any arthritic conditions like rheumatoid and osteoarthritis were excluded for the study. The Standardized Nordic Questionnaire (SNQ) was used to determine the prevalence of MSS. Forty-six women out of 73 who reported MSS in the past 12 months were voluntarily assessed using the Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) risk assessment to determine the association between physical risk factors and MSS. RESULTS: 68.49% (n=50) women reported having MSS during the last 12 months and 50.68% (n=37) of the respondents were prevented from normal daily activities due to MSS. Most commonly affected regions were upper and lower back, wrist, knees and elbows. Awkward posture, such as bending, lifting and working in squatting position, movements of repetition were associated with MSS in different body parts. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of MSS and the resultant disruption of regular activities among rural women indicate that ergonomic attention is needed to improve their well-being.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many sewing machine operators are working with high risk factors for musculoskeletal health in the garments industries in Bangladesh. OBJECTIVE: To identify the physical risk factors among sewing machine operators in a Bangladeshi garments factory. PARTICIPANTS: Sewing machine operators (327, 83% female), were evaluated. The mean age of the participants was 25.25 years. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Six ergonomic risk factors were determined using the Musculoskeletal Disorders risk assessment. Data…collection included measurements of sewing machine table and chair heights; this data was combined with information from informal interviews. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Significant ergonomic risk factors found included the combination of awkward postures of the neck and back, repetitive hand and arm movements, poor ergonomic workstations and prolonged working hours without adequate breaks; these risk factors resulted in musculoskeletal complaints, sick leave, and switching jobs. CONCLUSIONS: One aspect of improving worker health in garment factories includes addressing musculoskeletal risk factors through ergonomic interventions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is a scarcity of evidence regarding musculoskeletal symptoms prevalence among metal workers at different worksites in Bangladesh. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms and associated factors among metal workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh. METHOD: This cross-sectional study was performed in 5 out of 12 randomly selected metal tools manufacturing factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A total of 60 eligible participants (45 male and 15 female) were asked to complete the short Bengali version of…the Dutch Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. In addition, observations within the workplace were performed using a predesigned checklist for identifying ergonomic risk factors. RESULTS: Prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms during the last 12 months preceding data collection was reportedly 85%. Body regions reported to be most affected were upper back and lower back, then the wrist. Socio-demographic factors were not found to be significantly associated with musculoskeletal symptoms. In contrast, awkward posture and repetitive movement were significantly related to reports of musculoskeletal symptoms for the last 12 months preceding data collection. CONCLUSION: Results conclude that there is a high reported prevalence of musculoskeletal symptoms among metal workers, calling for an action on prevention and promotion in the work environment.
Keywords: Occupational health and safety, socio-demographic and ergonomic risk factors
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The prevalence of MSS among office workers is high worldwide, having a significant effect on medical costs, absenteeism, and quality of life. In Bangladesh, there are many office workers but there is no data on the prevalence and impact of MSS. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this pilot study was to determine the prevalence and distribution of MSS among paper based office workers from one local office in order to determine whether or not…an ergonomic intervention is required and the focus of the intervention needed. METHODS: A cross sectional study was conducted among 200 paper based office workers using a proportional stratified random sample. The Standardized Nordic Questionnaire was used to determine the prevalence and distribution of MSS. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. RESULTS: The mean age of the respondents was 43.0 years with a mean of 12.0 years work experience. 76.0% (n=152) of the respondents reported having MSS during the last 12 months. MSS complaints were reported primarily in the lower back region. 40.5% (n=81) of the respondents reported interruption of their normal daily activities within the last 12 months reportedly due to MSS. CONCLUSION: The current study showed the high prevalence rate of MSS among office workers in one workplace in Bangladesh. This was a pilot study, but it suggests that there is likely a need for further study into office workers' work sites and work practices to prevent work related injuries.
Keywords: Activities of daily livings (ADLs), impact of musculoskeletal symptoms (MSS), future studies
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals are at high risk of developing occupational musculoskeletal injuries globally. Musculoskeletal pain is the most common problem. OBJECTIVE: To determine the extent of discomfort that physiotherapy and occupational therapy health professionals report while working at a physical rehabilitation centre. PARTICIPANTS: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals which include both graduate and diploma physiotherapists and occupational therapists as well as physiotherapy and occupational therapy assistants.…METHODS: A self administered questionnaire (survey) was conducted on a convenient sample of 101 physiotherapy and occupational therapy personnel. RESULTS: The mean age of the 101 participants was 27.8 (± 4.5) years and most of the participants (62%) had less than 5 years of work experience. Ninety-five percent of the participants complained of work related pain. Most of the participants reported pain in the lower back (n=84) followed by upper back (n=71) and neck (n=66). Significant associations were found for pain in ankles/feet with age (p=0.05) and pain in neck with gender (p=0.01). CONCLUSION: Physiotherapy and occupational therapy professionals suffer from pain in relation to the work they do as therapists which may be due to non-practice of appropriate body mechanics. Mechanism to assess level of practice during dealing with patients may be introduced to enable corrective measures. Incentives should be considered for appropriate practice.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Returning to work after spinal cord injury (SCI) is a complex process due to the nature of injury and its devastating effect on all aspects of patients. This case study report is based on a spinal cord injury centre of Bangladesh. OBJECTIVE: The evaluation examined vocational assessment process and vocational interest of persons with SCI undergoing rehabilitation program in the center. METHODS: Occupational Therapists were interviewed to understand the existing vocational assessment services. This…study also used data from 183 vocational assessment forms to find out the association of vocational interests and other demographic factors. RESULTS: The vocational assessment conducted to gathered information on the physical capacity of the patient and physical environment of patients living area only. The most preferred vocational interest was shop management 39%, and returning to previous job 38%. Vocational trades with the lowest level of interest were computer (2%) and electronics (3%), and 10% of patients at the time of assessment were undecided. A statistically significant association between interest to return to previous job and gender, age, occupation before injury and living area were found. CONCLUSION: Patients go through a complex process to adapt to a new life after experiencing SCI which is significantly influenced by the rehabilitation professionals around him/her. A comprehensive assessment including psychosocial information and therapist's expertise on facilitations making vocational decision based on the variables can optimize the rehabilitation outcome.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is a common approach to work with disable people to improve their quality of life by improving the level of productivity and integrating them into society. But the effectiveness of CBR varies by country to country. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to find out whether CBR programs really improved the level of productivity among persons with physical disabilities. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted among equal number of respondents (n=51)…from each CBR coverage and non-coverage areas from two different upazilla (sub-districts) located 40 km away from the capital city of Bangladesh. Respondents were selected purposively and data were collected by face to face interviews. Willer's (1994) version of the Community Integration Questionnaire (CIQ) was used to measure the level of productivity among adult with physical disabilities. RESULTS: The mean score of total productivity integration in CBR coverage and non-coverage areas were 4.3 ± 2.4 and 4.5 ± 2.2 respectively. This difference was statistically non-significant (p=0.602).The levels of productivity integration between CBR coverage and non-coverage areas varied only 2–4% (p=0.793). CONCLUSION: The mean score of productivity integration and levels of productivity were not different significantly in CBR coverage and non-coverage areas.
Keywords: Productivity integration, community integration, Person with Physical Disabilities (PWD), physical disability
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Nine Hole Peg Test (NHPT) is a simple, quick assessment often used by occupational therapists to assess finger dexterity. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to standardize the NHPT in Bangladesh so Bangladeshi therapists can administer and interpret this test with relevant cultural norms. METHOD: This study includes an inter-rater reliability (IRR) study and a normative study with Bangladeshi participants. RESULTS: In the IRR study, four raters were placed into 6 teams of two to…establish reliability between individuals in each team. Intra-Class Correlation (ICC) results showed a high inter-rater reliability with ICC average ratings of 0.882–0.998 between individual raters of each team. Culturally relevant norms were developed for the NHPT using a sample of 180 participants (females, n=90 and males, n=90) ranging in age from 18 to 60 years. The data from the 1st trials were analyzed between age categories of both 5 and 10-year increments. Normative data was found to be clinically significant across collapsed age groups: 18–39, 40–49, and 50–60 years of age for each gender. CONCLUSION: These age categories were used to standardize the NHPT in Bangladesh, making it a culturally relevant finger dexterity test for the Bangladeshi population.