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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: Every nine minutes a young worker is injured on the job. Adult supervision is recommended to prevent injury among teen workers, yet limited research exists on supervision or the supervisor-teen relationship. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to: (a) explore teens’ perceptions of supervision and supervisors, (b) characterize teen-supervisor communication, and (c) investigate the role of communication in injury and workplace safety. METHODS: In spring 2010, focus groups and interviews were conducted with working teenagers, 15–19 years old. RESULTS: Fifty-two percent of teens were injured at work and most did not report…their injuries to their supervisors. The majority of teenagers perceived supervision as “being watched ” to make sure you are “staying on task. ” Teens viewed their supervisors as uninterested and uncaring, which greatly impacted communication. As one 15-year old female who was severely burned stated: “they don ’t care. ” Self-blame after teens sustained an injury further complicated the teen-supervisor relationship and communication. CONCLUSIONS: Working teenagers have complicated relationships with their supervisors. Many liked their supervisors, but felt their supervisors were apathetic towards them. Supervisors who engage teens in a mentoring relationship may be successful in resolving uncomfortable power dynamics which may increase communication and; therefore, safety for working teens.
Keywords: Supervision, teen worker-supervisor relationships, self-blame
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Conventional backpack straps are flexible. Due to this flexibility, backpacks freely move on the human back. In this study, a new design of backpacks with non-flexible straps is proposed. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present research is to demonstrate the possible differences between normal gait and steps while participants carry two different backpacks. METHODS: In this investigation, 9 healthy male college students were recruited with mean age, height and weight of 24.6 years, 179.6 cm and 76.41 kg, respectively. Each backpack was tested in two different steps. First, the participants were asked to walk on a…treadmill, whose velocity was changed from 1.5 m/s to 2.5 m/s, for 15 minutes. Initial velocity was 1.5 m/s and the velocity increased 0.5 m/s in 5 minutes increments. In the next step, they walked for 15 minutes with constant velocity of 3 m/s. Head, neck, and trunk flexion or extension, lateral displacement, and velocity of the subjects during backpack carriage were compared with the obtained values during normal gait, when they walked without carrying a backpack. In addition, the level of discomfort (3 grades: Low, medium, severe) in the neck, shoulder, lumbar, upper and lower leg muscles were investigated by using a modified standardized questionnaire. RESULTS: By wearing the modified design of backpack, trunk flexion decreased while there was no significant (p > 0.05) change in velocity and lateral displacement. According to the questionnaire reports, more than 80% of the participants believed that both backpack discomfort in the neck (anterior side) and upper and lower legs were low. More than 75% of the subjects believed that by using a modified backpack, discomfort decreased for muscles in the neck (posterior), shoulder (posterior) and lumbar muscles. About 60% of both backpack users reported low discomfort in anterior shoulder muscles. CONCLUSION: Backpacks cause some bad effects on kinematics of gait. In this study, by testing modified backpacks, some improvements were seen, specifically in posture, which may be useful to reduce side effects of backpack carrying.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work schedules contribute substantially to the health and well-being of nurses. Too broad typologies are used in research that do not meet the current variety in work schedules. OBJECTIVE: To develop a new typology for nurses’ work schedules based on five requirements and to validate the typology. METHODS: This study is based on a questionnaire returned by 498 nurses (response 51%) including questions regarding nurses’ work schedule, socio-demographic, and family characteristics and their appraisal of the work schedule. Frequencies of the different schedules were computed to determine the typology. To validate the typology, differences…between the types were tested with ANOVAs, Chi2 and Kruskal-Wallis tests. RESULTS: Five main types can be distinguished based on predetermined requirements and frequencies, namely: (1) fixed early shift, (2) rotating two shift pattern without night shift, (3) rotating three shift pattern, (4) fixed and rotating two shift pattern including night shift, and (5) fixed normal day or afternoon shifts. Nurses in these types of work schedule differed significantly with respect to hours worked, days off between shifts, age, education, years in the job, commuting time, contribution to household income, satisfaction with work schedule and work schedule control. Especially nurses with type 3 schedules differed from other types. CONCLUSIONS: A typology of five main types of work schedules is proposed. Content validity of the typology is sufficient and the new typology seems useful for research on work-related aspects of nursing.
Keywords: Work schedule, typology shiftwork, satisfaction with irregular work times, socio-demographic, family
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nordic is one of the most popular questionnaires for evaluating Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs), but no studies have been reported on the reliability and validity of this questionnaire in Iran. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was translation, cross-cultural adaptation and validation of the Persian version of the Specific Nordic questionnaire (SNQ), and evaluation of the reliability of this questionnaire for the assessment of WMSDs in Iranian industrial workers. METHODS: The SNQ was completed by 122 Iranian industrial workers with lumbar or knee musculoskeletal disorders to assess the reliability and construct validity. The validity…was assessed by knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) questionnaires. Reliability was assessed by a test-retest procedure for 60 patients with 7-days interval. RESULTS: There was significant positive correlation between KSNQ and KOOS pain (r = 0.71, p < 0.05) and the KSNQ and KOOS QOL (r = 0.72, p < 0.05). There was High Pearson correlation between LSNQ and ODI (r = 0.77, p < 0.05). Both lumbar and knee SNQ had a high Kappa coefficient correlation (0.83–1 for KSNQ and 0.63–1 for LSNQ). CONCLUSIONS: The Persian version of the SNQ is a reliable and valid instrument to be used for the assessment of WMSDs in Iranian industrial workers.
Keywords: Disorder, translation, cross cultural adaptation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Firefighters’ cardiovascular fitness remains a foremost concern among fire departments and organizations, yet very little research has been conducted to examine the cardiovascular fitness adaptations that occur during firefighter training academies. OBJECTIVE: To describe the cardiovascular adaptations observed among firefighter recruits during firefighter training academies using measures of estimated maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max ) and heart rate recovery (Δ HR). METHODS: Firefighter recruits (n = 41) enrolled in a 16-week firefighter training academy completed a 5-minute step test during the first, eighth, and sixteenth week of training. Repeated measures analysis of variance (RM ANOVA) calculations…were conducted to determine changes in estimated VO2max and Δ HR. RESULTS: Results of the RM ANOVA calculations revealed that mean estimated VO2max and mean Δ HR differed significantly between time points: F(2, 80) = 75.525, p < 0.001, and F(2, 80) = 4.368, p = 0.016, respectively. No significant changes were observed in mean estimated VO2max and mean Δ HR beyond the eighth week of training. No significant relationship was identified between estimated VO2max and Δ HR. CONCLUSIONS: Although firefighter recruits’ estimated VO2max and Δ HR change significantly over the course of the firefighter training academy, the measures may not be equal predictors of cardiovascular fitness.
Abstract: BACKGROUND : The purpose of the study was to examine factors related to the retention of registered nurses in northeastern Ontario, Canada. OBJECTIVE/METHOD : A cross-sectional survey of registered nurses working in northeastern Ontario, Canada was conducted. Logistic regression analyses were used to consider intent to stay in current employment in relation to the following: 1) demographic factors, and 2) occupation and career satisfaction factors. RESULTS : A total of 459 (29.8% response rate) questionnaires were completed. The adjusted odds logistic regression analysis of RNs who intended to remain in their current position for the next five years,…demonstrated that respondents in the 46 to 56 age group (OR: 2.65; 95% CI: 1.50 to 4.69), the importance of staff development in the organization (OR: 3.04; 95% CI: 1.13 to 8.13) northeastern Ontario lifestyle (OR: 2.61; 95% CI: 1.55 to 4.40), working in nursing for 14 to 22.5 years (OR: 2.55; 95% CI: 1.10 to 5.93), and working between 0 to 1 hour of overtime per week (OR: 1.20; 95% CI: 1.20 to 4.64) were significant factors in staying in their current position for the next five years. CONCLUSIONS : This study shows that a further understanding of the work environment could assist with developing retention for rural nurses. Furthermore, employers may use such information to ameliorate the working conditions of nurses, while researchers may use such evidence to develop interventions that are applicable to improving the working conditions of nurses.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Transportation industry workers are at high risk for exposure to traumatic incidents in the workplace. A considerable number of those exposed to such incidents will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, which leads to high rates of absenteeism and are costly to the public transit corporation and workplace safety compensation insurance. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the newly implemented Best Practice Intervention (BPI) provides superior outcomeswhen compared with Treatment-as-Usual (TAU) interventions in improving workers’ rates of return to work (RTW), decreasing duration of time lost from work and overall reduction in severity of PTSD symptoms 6 months…after exposure. METHODS: A sequential mixed methods approach was used with qualitative analysis followed by a pre-post intervention design. Sixty-two participants were recruited to the (TAU) phase of the study and 79 to the (BPI) phase. RESULTS: Significant differences were observed between the TAU and BPI groups in number of lost work days (TAU: 20 days vs. BPI: 52 days, p = 0.02). PTSD symptoms decreased with time (MPPS score: 51.3 vs. 24.35; p < 0.001). One-fifth of the participants (21 %) did not return to work by the end of the 6 months follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrated the value of workplace interventions in improving awareness of psychological symptoms after exposure to a traumatic incident and the value of screening for PTSD symptoms.
Keywords: Workplace mental health, acute psychological trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, Best Practices Intervention, public transportation
Abstract: The Acute Psychological Trauma (APT) Study was a collaboration between an acute care hospital, a specialized multidisciplinary program designed to meet the mental health needs of injured workers, and a large urban public transit system. The overall purpose was to evaluate a Best Practices Intervention (BPI) for employees affected by acute psychological trauma compared to a Treatment as Usual (TAU) group. The specific purpose is to discuss facilitators and barriers that were recognized in implementing and carrying out mental health research in a workplace setting. Over the course of the APT study, a joint implementation committee was responsible for day-to-day…study operations and made regular observations on the facilitators and barriers that arose throughout the study. The facilitators to this study included the longstanding relationships among the partners, increased recognition for the need of mental health research in the workplace, and the existence of a community advisory committee. The significant barriers to doing this study of mental health research in the workplace included differences in organizational culture, inconsistent union support, co-interventions, and stigma. Researchers and funding agencies need to be flexible and provide additional resources in order to overcome the barriers that can exist doing workplace mental health research.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: As guardians of the public interest, auditors represent a unique occupational group. The group that has shown to experience high level of stress and overload is often being associated with environmentally imposed responsibility as well as organizationally imposed performance demands. It is the latter aspects, represented by the concept of organizational culture, that is being highlighted in this paper and its relationship to auditor’s well-being OBJECTIVES: The paper aims to explore organizational culture as an antecedent of auditors’ well-being, which is assumed to have important consequences for the quality of auditors’ work. METHODS: This…study is based on a survey of 207 Swedish auditors. Using established and validated instruments measuring aspects of organizational culture and personal well-being, the study employed correlations and multiple regression analysis in testing the relationship between the two. RESULTS: The results of the study suggest that an increasing degree of collectivistic organizational culture has a positive relationship with three aspects of well-being: Job satisfaction, life balance and life satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first attempt to explore well-being of auditors and its antecedents represented by organizational culture. Contrary to the expectation that auditors take an individualistic approach to their work, this study establishes that auditors feel best in a work environment characterized by a collectivist organizational culture.