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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: Due to the growth of information in the urban rail environment, there is a need to better understand the ergonomics profile underpinning visual behaviour in the substantive train driver. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the tasks and activities of urban/metropolitan passenger train drivers in order to better understand the nature of the visual demands in their task activities. METHODS: Data were collected from 34 passenger train drivers in four different Australian states.…The research approach used a novel participative ergonomics methodology that fused interviews and observations with generative tools. Data analysis was conducted thematically. RESULTS: Results suggested participants did not so much drive their trains, as manage the intensity of visually demanding work held in their environment. The density of this information and the opacity of the task, invoked an ergonomics profile more closely aligned with diagnostic and error detection than actual train regulation. CONCLUSIONS: The paper discusses the relative proportion of strategies corresponding with specific tasks, the visual-perceptual load in substantive activities, and the requisite visual skills behoving navigation in the urban rail environment. These findings provide the basis for developing measures of complexity to further specify the visual demands in passenger train driving.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is well established that environmental factors can have impact upon an injured person's recovery and return-to-work outcomes. To date, there has been no cohesive model to provide theoretical understanding of the way in which these divergent factors combine to create disability behaviours. OBJECT: Development of a conceptual model for understanding the development of disability behavior. METHODS: Interpolation from existing neuroplasticity theory to observed behaviors and studies of behavior in the…workers' compensation environment, including existing research concerning predictors for disability. RESULTS: The paper describes a conceptual model for understanding instances of disability that are not necessarily attributable to physical harm. Preliminary testing provides support for the model. CONCLUSIONS: Factors that contribute to the formation of a neural network supporting the behavior of learned disability are described. From that description, intervention methods to prevent or resolve so-called "needless disability" are discussed.
Keywords: Neuroplasticity, disability management, return to work
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-12, 2013
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This paper addresses the need for a paradigm shift from post-diagnosis tertiary care towards maintenance and promotion of health across the lifespan, for healthcare in general and in occupational healthcare specifically. It is based on the assumption that the realization of this paradigm shift may be facilitated by teaching (future) occupational health professionals to use the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). OBJECTIVE: Describing the development of a an ICF based occupational health curriculum. METHODS: Grafting a training trajectory in the ICF for educating the biopsychosocial health paradigm, onto a training trajectory…in the Critical Appraisal of a Topic (CAT), a method for teaching evidence based practice skills. RESULTS: The development process of the training trajectories in the master program Work, Health, and Career at Maastricht University is described as an example of an intervention for shifting the paradigm in healthcare curricula. The expected results are a shift from the biomedical towards the biopsychosocial paradigm, a reductionist approach towards a more holistic view on cases, a reactive way of working towards a more proactive work style, and from using a merely quantifiable evidence base towards using a broad evidence base. CONCLUSIONS: Incorporating the biopsychosocial paradigm into the assessment and scientific reasoning skills of students is not only valuable in occupational healthcare but might be a valuable approach for all disciplines in healthcare for which contextual factors are important e.g. rehabilitation, psychiatry and nutritional science.
Keywords: Biomedical model, biopsychosocialmodel, evidence based practice, (occupational) health professionals
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-13, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Emergency and protective services personnel (e.g., police, ambulance, fire-fighters, defence, prison and security officers) report elevated levels of job stress and health problems. While population-level research is lacking, there has been some research suggesting suicide rates may be elevated in emergency and protective services. OBJECTIVES: This paper compares suicide rates between emergency and protective services occupational groups over a 12-year period (2001–2012) in Australia. METHOD: Labour force data was obtained from the 2006 Australian Census. Suicide data was obtained from the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). Negative binomial regression was used to estimate the…association between suicide and employment as an emergency or protective service worker (including prison and security officers) over the period 2001–2012, as compared to all other occupations. Information on suicide method was extracted from the NCIS. RESULTS: The age-adjusted suicide rate across all emergency and protective service workers was 22.4 (95% CI 19.5 to 25.2) per 100,000 in males and 7.8 in females (95% CI 4.6 to 11.00), compared to 15.5 per 100,000 (95% CI 15.2 to 15.9) for males and 3.4 (95% CI 3.2 to 3.6) for females in other occupations. The highest risk by subgroup was observed among those employed in the defence force, prison officers, and ambulance personnel. The major method of death for all occupational groups was hanging. CONCLUSIONS: Our results clearly highlight the need for suicide prevention among emergency and protective service occupations.
Keywords: Intentional self-harm, emergency service worker, police, ambulance, fire-fighter, military
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-7, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Misperceptions regarding persons with brain injuries (PWBI) can lead to stigmatization, workplace discrimination and, in turn, influence PWBIs full vocational integration. OBJECTIVE: In this study we explored how stigma may influence return-to-work processes, experiences of stigma and discrimination at the workplace for persons with (moderate to severe) brain injuries, and strategies that can be employed to manage disclosure. METHODS: Exploratory qualitative study; used in-depth interviews and an inductive thematic analytical approach in data analysis. Ten PWBI and five employment service providers participated. PWBI discussed their work experiences, relationships with supervisors and co-workers and experiences…of stigma and/or discrimination at work. Employment service providers discussed their perceptions regarding PWBI’s rights and abilities to work, reported incidents of workplace discrimination, and how issues related to stigma, discrimination and disclosure are managed. RESULTS: Three themes were identified: i) public, employer and provider knowledge about brain injury and beliefs about PWBI; ii) incidents of workplace discrimination; iii) disclosure. Misperceptions regarding PWBI persist amongst the public and employers. Incidents of workplace discrimination included social exclusion at the workplace, hiring discrimination, denial of promotion/demotion, harassment, and failure to provide reasonable accommodations. Disclosure decisions required careful consideration of PWBI needs, the type of information that should be shared, and the context in which that information is shared. CONCLUSIONS: Public understanding about PWBI remains limited. PWBI require further assistance to manage disclosure and incidents of workplace discrimination.
Keywords: Head injury, brain injury, work, stigma, workplace discrimination
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-14, 2017
Abstract: Given large changes in working conditions and society, occupational health care has to prioritize its efforts towards fostering health and functioning of workers and as such promote work participation. This requires that more emphasis is given on the application of biopsychological models in the care of workers. Although a biopsychological approach is often mentioned as essential part of occupational health care, it’s application is often hampered in practice, by practical barriers and lack of practical knowledge. This is illustrated by a study that uncovered facilitating and hindering factors in the implementation process of a preventive strategy, proven effective in reducing…the risk of long term sickness absence. To facilitate the use of biopsychological models in occupational health care, it is shown that setting up a training curriculum is possible, based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) grafted on available training in evidence based practice skills is possible. Furthermore, there is a need for elaboration of the personal factors relevant for workers and the relevant work-related environmental factors to support practical application of ICF in occupational health care. A paradigm shift in occupational health care can facilitate widespread implementation of the biopsychosocial approach in occupational health and may stimulate occupational health professionals to further integrate this approach in their daily practice.
Keywords: The international classification of functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), occupational health care education, implementation, screening, ICF contextual factors
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-4, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Women in metropolitan areas have lower employment participation and employment rates than men. Although women face multiple challenges in the labor market, those who have a history of substance use and are abstinent may have a greater disadvantage in obtaining viable employment opportunities due to factors associated with substance use. No research to date has examined employment experiences among women in recovery from substance use. OBJECTIVE: This study examined employment characteristics and experiences of women who had a history of substance use and lived in sober-living environments in urban areas. METHOD: Data were collected…through telephone interviews to sober living homes that were located in 20 urban areas. RESULTS: Themes identified through thematic analysis included employment challenges, the importance of work to substance abuse recovery, job satisfaction, employment aspirations, and employment support in the sober living home. CONCLUSION: Employment is important to women in substance abuse recovery, not only as a means for financial support, but also as a life priority. The results highlight how employer scheduling practices, low-level positions, and lack of employment supports impact recovery. Findings provide insight into the need for employment support services, including employer education and flexible policies for women in recovery.