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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: Work-family conflict (WFC) is an inter-role conflict, which suggests that fulfilling expectations of family roles makes it difficult to satisfy expectations of work roles, and vice versa. Living an academic life includes balancing multiple work demands and family responsibilities, which may generate WFC for many faculty members. Researchers have emphasized the need for further studies of how faculty integrate work and family demands. OBJECTIVE: This study explores WFC among Iranian faculty. We examine relationships among work hours, time spent with family, work-interference with family (WIF), family-interference with work (FIW), and job satisfaction. METHODS: Faculty members…from 25 Iranian public universities completed a questionnaire. Structural equation modeling was used to test hypotheses in a single model. RESULTS: Findings suggest a positive relationship between faculty weekly work hours and WIF, and between time spent with family and FIW. WIF correlated negatively with job satisfaction, and work hours correlated positively with job satisfaction. Time spent with family and FIW had no influence on job satisfaction, and spouse employment moderated the relationship between WIF and job satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: Findings have implications for human resources and organizational development professionals seeking insight into how faculty members and other knowledge workers experience work-family interrelationships.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Employment is a key element in recovery from schizophrenia. Yet 60%–80% of people with schizophrenia are not involved in work occupations. Factors influencing employment were explored mostly in community settings, while the recovery process begins already during hospitalization. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to investigate parameters that can distinguish during hospitalization between people with schizophrenia who will work in competitive employment, in sheltered employment or will not work after discharge. METHODS: The research followed 104 participants from acute hospitalization to the community, six months after discharge, to obtain employment related data. The participants’…cognitive abilities, schizophrenia symptoms, and functional capacity were evaluated during hospitalization. In addition, demography and illness related factors were collected. RESULTS: The results indicate that persons with different employment statuses varied in several parameters during hospitalization. However, the most effective discriminant model includes negative symptoms, functional capacity measure and the number of hospitalizations. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that people with different employment statuses have unique characteristics already during hospitalization. In the future, appropriate rehabilitation programs may be suggested to each group based on these characteristics to promote employment among people with schizophrenia and contribute to recovery.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Physical Activity in the workplace has received special attention from researchers who are looking to promote lifelong health and well-being. The workplace is being investigated as a possible place to assess and create strategies to help people to become healthier. The transtheoretical model and stages of change has been adapted as a tool to assess the stages of behavioral change towards exercising. OBJECTIVE: To assess the change in health behavior following a three-month exercise program based in the workplace. METHODS: A quasi-experimental study design was used in which 165 employees participated in the study. An…intervention program of workplace exercise was applied for three months. Participants were assessed through the transtheoretical model and stages of change questionnaire before and after intervention to understand changes in their position on the behavioral change continuum. RESULTS: The number of employees who were physically active increased after the workplace exercise intervention (13.9% , 95% CI 9.5 to 20.1; P = 0.009). There was a significant decrease in the proportion of employees in the pre-contemplation stage (–6.1% , 95% CI 3.3 to 10.8; P = 0.045) and contemplation stage (–11.5% , 95% CI 7.5 to 17.3; P = 0.017), and a significant increase in the action stage (10.9% , 95% CI 7.0 to 16.6; P = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Engaging in workplace exercise has a significant positive effect on health behavior and willingness to become more physically active.
Keywords: Motor activity, habits, occupational health, life style, health behavior
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous research indicates that companies manage workplace health in various ways, but more in-depth empirical knowledge of how workplace health promotion (WHP) is managed in public sector organizations is needed. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore how WHP is managed and incorporated into the general management system in two large Swedish municipal organizations. METHODS: A qualitative descriptive approach was used. Fourteen senior managers were purposefully selected and interviewed using semi-structured interviews. Documents were used as supplementary data. All data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: The management of WHP…was described as a set of components that together contribute to the organization’s capacity for WHP. The informants described WHP as dominated by fitness programmes and as following a problem-solving cycle, in which the annual employee survey emerged as an important managerial tool. Achieving feasible WHP measures and appropriate follow-ups were described as challenges. The provision of leadership competence for WHP and use of supportive resources were described as additional components. CONCLUSIONS: The WHP management approach needs to be broadened to include work environment and organizational factors. Further integration with occupational health and safety and the general management system in the organizations is also needed.
Keywords: Integration, management, occupational health and safety, public sector organization, workplace health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether living with neck and back pain, disability, and mental disorders influences the perception of psychological and social factors at work among sick-listed patients. OBJECTIVES: The primary aim of the present study was to examine the associations between pain, disability, anxiety, depression, and perceived psychological and social factors at work among sick-listed patients with neck and back pain. METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of 380 sick-listed patients with neck and low-back pain who were referred to spine clinics at two Norwegian university hospitals. Ordinal regression was applied, with psychological and social…factors at work as the dependent variable. RESULTS: Pain was not associated with psychological and social factors at work. Disability was associated with a minor increase in the perception of demands among women, but not men. Women with high anxiety or depression scores experienced less control over work situations and less positive challenges at work. Men with high depression scores perceived low support. CONCLUSIONS: Sick-listed patients with neck and back pain who had concurrent anxiety or depression reported increased psychological and social challenges at work. To provide suitable treatment in the clinical setting, further attention should be paid to the interaction between anxiety or depression and perceived job strain.
Keywords: Work environment, psychosocial environment, job stress, sickness absence
Abstract: BACKGROUND: For the successful implementation of job rotation, jobs should be scheduled systematically so that physical workload is evenly distributed with the use of various body parts. However, while the potential benefits are widely recognized by research and industry, there is still a need for a more effective and efficient algorithm that considers multiple work-related factors in job rotation scheduling. OBJECTIVE: This study suggests a type of job rotation algorithm that aims to minimize musculoskeletal disorders with the approach of decreasing the overall workload. METHODS: Multiple work characteristics are evaluated as inputs to the proposed algorithm.…Important factors, such as physical workload on specific body parts, working height, involvement of heavy lifting, and worker characteristics such as physical disorders, are included in the algorithm. For evaluation of the overall workload in a given workplace, an objective function was defined to aggregate the scores from the individual factors. A case study, where the algorithm was applied at a workplace, is presented with an examination on its applicability and effectiveness. RESULTS: With the application of the suggested algorithm in case study, the value of the final objective function, which is the weighted sum of the workload in various body parts, decreased by 71.7% when compared to a typical sequential assignment and by 84.9% when compared to a single job assignment, which is doing one job all day. CONCLUSIONS: An algorithm was developed using the data from the ergonomic evaluation tool used in the plant and from the known factors related to workload. The algorithm was developed so that it can be efficiently applied with a small amount of required inputs, while covering a wide range of work-related factors. A case study showed that the algorithm was beneficial in determining a job rotation schedule aimed at minimizing workload across body parts.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury causes functional limitations that can cause people to struggle to reintegrate in the workplace despite participating in work rehabilitation programmes. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to explore, and describe the experiences of individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury regarding returning to work through the use of the model of occupational self-efficacy. PARTICIPANTS: In the study 10 individuals who were diagnosed with a mild to moderate brain injury participated in the study. METHODS: The research study was positioned within the qualitative paradigm specifically utilizing case study methodology. In order to…gather data from the participants, individual interviews and participant observation techniques were used. RESULTS: Two themes emerged from the findings of the study theme one reflected the barriers related to the use of the model (i.e. Theme one: Effective participation in the model is affected by financial assistance). The second theme related to the enabling factors related to the use of the model (i.e. Theme two: A sense of normality). CONCLUSION: The findings of this study indicated that the Model of Occupational Self Efficacy (MOS) is a useful model to use in retraining the work skills of individual’s who sustained a traumatic brain injury. The participants in this study could maintain employment in the open labour market for a period of at least 12 months and it improved their ability to accept their brain injury as well as adapt to their worker roles. The MOS also provides a framework for facilitating community integration.
Keywords: Occupational therapy, Model of Occupational Self Efficacy, case study methodology and traumatic brain injury
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Construction work involves significant physical, mental, and temporal task demands. Excessive task demands can have negative consequences for safety, errors and production. OBJECTIVE: This exploratory study investigates the magnitude and sources of task demands on a concrete operation, and examines the effect of the production practices on the workers’ task demands. METHODS: The NASA Task Load Index was used to measure the perceived task demands of two work crews. The operation involved the construction of a cast-in-place concrete building under high schedule pressures. Interviews with each crew member were used to identify the main sources…of the perceived demands. Extensive field observations and interviews with the supervisors and crews identified the production practices. RESULTS: The workers perceived different level of task demands depending on their role. The production practices influenced the task demands in two ways: (1) practices related to work organization, task design, resource management, and crew management mitigated the task demands; and (2) other practices related to work planning and crew management increased the crew’s ability to cope with and adapt to high task demands. CONCLUSIONS: The findings identify production practices that regulate the workers’ task demands. The effect of task demands on performance is mitigated by the ability to cope with high demands.
Keywords: Production system design, construction, concrete, NASA-TLX, worker, task demands
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Healthcare workers are at high risk of facing workplace violence and nurses represent the most affected group. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to assess workplace violence encountered by nurses working in three different healthcare settings. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in a tertiary hospital, a non-tertiary hospital and a primary care unit. The research tool was an anonymous self-report questionnaire concerning the prevalence, characteristics, consequences, causes and preventive measures of workplace violence. The statistical analysis was performed with SPSS 17.0 RESULTS: Eighty nurses participated in the study. The majority (76%) had experienced…workplace violence. Men (OR, 0.08; 95% CI, 0.01–0.56) and more experienced nurses (OR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.70–0.97, for each additional year of working experience) were less affected in the last year. Verbal violence was the dominant type (98%). The vast majority (80%) reported a negative psychological impact, while 65% reported that they feel sometimes, rarely or never safe in their workplace. One of the main suggested causes of workplace violence was the long waiting time (99%), while the most common suggested measure of prevention was entrance control (93%). CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed a high prevalence of workplace violence against nurses working in different healthcare facilities. Country and unit-specific studies may be beneficial for implementing appropriate interventions for reducing work place violence.