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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: In relation to statistical analysis, studies to determine the validity, reliability, objectivity and precision of new measuring devices are usually incomplete, due in part to using only correlation coefficient and ignoring the data dispersion. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to demonstrate the best way to determine the validity, reliability, objectivity and accuracy of an electro-inclinometer or other measuring devices. Another purpose of this study is to answer the question of whether reliability and objectivity represent accuracy of measuring devices. METHODS: The validity of an electro-inclinometer was examined by mechanical and geometric methods.…The objectivity and reliability of the device was assessed by calculating Cronbach’s alpha for repeated measurements by three raters and by measurements on the same person by mechanical goniometer and the electro-inclinometer. Measurements were performed on “hip flexion with the extended knee” and “shoulder abduction with the extended elbow.” The raters measured every angle three times within an interval of two hours. The three-way ANOVA was used to determine accuracy. RESULTS: The results of mechanical and geometric analysis showed that validity of the electro-inclinometer was 1.00 and level of error was less than one degree. Objectivity and reliability of electro-inclinometer was 0.999, while objectivity of mechanical goniometer was in the range of 0.802 to 0.966 and the reliability was 0.760 to 0.961. For hip flexion, the difference between raters in joints angle measurement by electro-inclinometer and mechanical goniometer was 1.74 and 16.33 degree (P<0.05), respectively. The differences for shoulder abduction measurement by electro-inclinometer and goniometer were 0.35 and 4.40 degree (P<0.05). CONCLUSION: Although both the objectivity and reliability are acceptable, the results showed that measurement error was very high in the mechanical goniometer. Therefore, it can be concluded that objectivity and reliability alone cannot determine the accuracy of a device and it is preferable to use other statistical methods to compare and evaluate the accuracy of these two devices.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work-related stress has been evaluated as one of the most important health risks in Europe. Prevention of work related stress and interventions to reduce risk factors for stress in the workplace are conducted together by the enterprise and occupational health services. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to examine the experiences of Finnish occupational physicians on the stress management with enterprises. METHODS: From the Finnish Association of Occupational Health Physicians membership list 207 physicians responded to self-administered anonymous questionnaire. The data were analysed using SPSS 17.0. RESULTS: The client enterprises contacted…occupational health services frequently about work-related stress. Collaboration between occupational health and enterprises was strongest in companies’ own occupational health services and generally with most experienced physicians. Occupational health services and enterprises shared responsibility for managing work-related stress. CONCLUSIONS: Professional experience and close contact with organisation management favours successful stress management between occupational health and enterprises.
Keywords: Physicians, work-site, practice management, organizations, prevention
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The present study uses the RULA method to define the most favourable working conditions to lower climbing greenhouse plants, the most problematic task involved in trellising crops. OBJECTIVE: The aim is to prevent potential musculoskeletal disorders to the upper limbs in workers performing this task. METHODS: The variety of scenarios involving this task was simulated in the laboratory to evaluate different working heights, crop weights, and types of guides handled. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: From the 2,544 tests made, only some ergonomically favourable conditions were found to be met when the work was…done at a height of 1.4 m, although heights of between 1.2 and 1.6 m could prove acceptable. Furthermore, the study shows the importance of the type of hanger needed to perform the work correctly, of the group of hangers tested; ergonomically acceptable handling was possible only with the new-generation ones having the lock device. In the case of using other types of hangers, it is recommended not to support weights greater than 2 kg. In addition to the above recommendations, it is considered vital to guarantee the correct organization of the workday to include recovery times from the earliest working hours, given the repetitive nature of the work, as well as to promote training sessions to avoid incorrect postures, especially regarding the limbs, trunk, wrist, and neck.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: An efficient team and a good organizational climate not only improve employee health but also the health and safety of the patients. Building up trust, a good organizational climate and a healthy workplace requires effective communication processes. In Sweden, workplace meetings as settings for communication processes are regulated by a collective labor agreement. However, little is known about how these meetings are organized in which communication processes can be strengthened. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to explore communication processes during workplace meetings in a Swedish healthcare organization. METHODS: A qualitatively driven, mixed…methods design was used with data collected by observations, interviews, focus group interviews and mirroring feedback seminars. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and conventional content analysis. RESULTS: The communication flow and the organization of the observed meetings varied in terms of physical setting, frequency, time allocated and duration. The topics for the workplace meetings were mainly functional with a focus on clinical processes. Overall, the meetings were viewed not only as an opportunity to communicate information top down but also a means by which employees could influence decision-making and development at the workplace. CONCLUSIONS: Workplace meetings have very distinct health-promoting value. It emerged that information and the opportunity to influence decisions related to workplace development are important to the workers. These aspects also affect the outcome of the care provided.
Keywords: Meeting, dialogue, workplace health promotion, qualitative method, hospital
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The popularity of mobile computing products is well known. Thus, it is crucial to evaluate their contribution to musculoskeletal disorders during computer usage under both comfortable and stressful environments. OBJECTIVE: This study explores the effect of different computer products’ usages with different tasks used to induce psychosocial stress on muscle activity. METHODS: Fourteen male subjects performed computer tasks: sixteen combinations of four different computer products with four different tasks used to induce stress. Electromyography for four muscles on the forearm, shoulder and neck regions and task performances were recorded. RESULTS: The increment…of trapezius muscle activity was dependent on the task used to induce the stress where a higher level of stress made a greater increment. However, this relationship was not found in the other three muscles. Besides that, compared to desktop and laptop use, the lowest activity for all muscles was obtained during the use of a tablet or smart phone. The best net performance was obtained in a comfortable environment. However, during stressful conditions, the best performance can be obtained using the device that a user is most comfortable with or has the most experience with. CONCLUSIONS: Different computer products and different levels of stress play a big role in muscle activity during computer work. Both of these factors must be taken into account in order to reduce the occurrence of musculoskeletal disorders or problems.
Keywords: Electromyography, performance, typing activity, trapezius, visual display unit
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Compared with traditional rehabilitation, gardening has been viewed as a more occupation-based intervention to help patients improve functional performance. However, there is still a need for evidence-based research into what factors interact to create the beneficial effects of gardening for people who have sustained a cerebral vascular accident (CVA). OBJECTIVE: To explore how plant, gender, and the time after stroke onset influenced improvements in the quality of life of patients in a gardening program. METHODS: One treatment of tending short-term plants, and another treatment of tending long-term plants were compared. Quality of life improvement…was evaluated according to three factors: plant, gender, and the time after stroke onset. The data were analyzed with 2k replicated factorial designs. RESULTS: The 2k factorial design with replication indicated significant effects on both the social role and the family role. For the social role, the interaction of plant and gender difference was significant. For the family role, the significant effects were found on interaction of plant with both gender and the time after stroke onset. CONCLUSIONS: Tending plants with different life cycles has varied effects on the quality of life of people who have sustained a CVA. Factors related to gender and the time after stroke onset influenced role competency in this sample.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease. Due to a constantly growing incidence rate and lowering age of PD patients it is becoming a more serious social problem. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the effectiveness of physiotherapy procedure of patients with PD depending on their working status. METHODS: The research was carried out on 89 people with diagnosed PD of IInd stage according to the Hoehn and Yahr classification. They were divided into two groups: working professionally and non-working. The Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) was used to estimate…patients’ clinical status while the PDQ-39 (Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire) scale evaluated quality of life. Patients took part in rehabilitation activities twice a week for a period of 20 weeks. In both groups an improvement in physical activity and a quality of life were achieved. RESULTS: Better effects were observed in the group of working patients. Statistically significant differences were notice in part II UPDRS (p = 0.001), part I, II and III total of UPDRS (p = 0,001) and in the PDQ-39 test (p = 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Employment and participation in properly planned physiotherapy help reduce the symptoms and improve the quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The percentage of young people with disabilities who are employed is relatively low. Motivation is considered to be an important factor in facilitating or hindering their ability to obtain employment. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to develop a topic list that could serve as an interview guide for professionals in occupational health care which would aid them in their discussion of work motivation-related issues with this group. METHODS: We systematically searched Pubmed, PsychInfo and Picarta. Studies were included if they described aspects of work motivation and/or instruments that assess work motivation. Based on the results of…our literature survey, we developed a list of topics that had been shown to be related to work motivation. RESULTS: Our search resulted in 12 articles describing aspects of work motivation and 17 articles describing instruments that assess work motivation. The aspects that we found were intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, goal setting, self-efficacy, expectancy, values and work readiness. Based on this information we developed an interview guide that includes seven topic areas: intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, goal setting, expectancy, values, self- efficacy, and work readiness. CONCLUSION: The topics within the interview guide and the literature survey data that is presented will shed light on the role that motivation plays on the work participation among young people with disabilities.
Keywords: Work motivation, young people with disabilities, work participation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The APIC (Citizen Accompaniment Project for Community Integration) is an innovative program that seeks to increase the community integration of people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) by offering the support of an accompanying citizen (AC) in the accomplishment of significant life activities. OBJECTIVE: This article aims to better define the AC’s role in this process, by underlining the mental health risks they face, the strategies they use, and the impacts the role has on their own lives. METHODS: This qualitative study is based on the analysis of interviews conducted with the AC following…the first year of implementation. The data is part of a larger project aimed at the implementation and evaluation of APIC program. The data were analysed according to the rules of thematic content analysis, which encourages grouping main ideas into categories. This is an iterative process allowing for the constant emergence of new categories during the analysis. RESULTS: Accompaniment is full of joys and positive moments for the AC and participants. However, some difficult situations are encountered and the AC are constantly faced with challenges and constraints. The emerging study themes are as follows: the environment, the characteristics of the person accompanied, the AC’s personal limits, and the ambiguities in the accompanier-accompanied relationship. CONCLUSIONS: Five principles drawn from the results will help oversee this practice more efficiently and limit the mental health risks of accompaniers. These findings may permit further development of this type of program for people living with disabilities.
Keywords: Traumatic brain injury, social participation, citizenship, mental workload