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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: Young adults with disabilities often use assistive technology (AT) to address personal needs, engage in communities and pursue educational and vocational goals. Little is known about their personal experiences and challenges of accessing and using AT for productivity-related activities. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to learn from young adults about their experiences and use of AT in supporting their productivity. METHODS: Using a qualitative approach, 20 young adult AT users engaged in semi-structured interviews and a photovoice process. Data were analysed inductively. RESULTS: Three primary themes were identified: I Have to Figure it…out Myself, With the Right AT, and Relational Aspects of AT Use. Although participants were experienced AT users, they were often left alone to figure out their emerging needs. They relied on AT to participate in productivity pursuits however stigma around AT use in unsupportive work environments were new concerns. CONCLUSIONS: Young adults with disabilities draw on their experiences of AT use but may need to develop advocacy skills to ensure their needs are met in productivity-related environments. Employers and supervisors should recognize AT as essential to young adult’s engagement with productivity-related activities and have an important role in developing inclusive work environments.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Occupational therapists (OTs) work in all areas of health and wellbeing. The work is physically and psychologically demanding, but OTs are often not diligent about recognizing and attending to the workplace health and safety issue of fatigue in their own work settings. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper is to determine current issues and the evidence-base as presented in the literature so as to develop awareness and best practice interventions for fatigue reduction and management in occupational therapists’ workplace. METHODS: A comprehensive search strategy was carried out by the medical librarian on the study…team and themes were extracted from the relevant literature by the study team. RESULTS: The literature revealed little research directly addressing occupational therapy workplace fatigue and we expanded our review of the evidence-base across all healthcare workers to identify publications of particular relevance to occupational therapists. CONCLUSION: This background paper is an important first step to raising awareness among OTs, guide key stakeholders regarding contributing factors to, and consequences of, OTs’ workplace fatigue, and set research direction. Knowing which factors influencing workplace fatigue are shared across healthcare professionals and which are unique to OTs can also help organizations develop more tailored workplace fatigue risk reduction programs. This review concludes with a list of existing guidelines and tools for developing workplace fatigue risk assessment and management programs relevant to occupational therapists.
Keywords: Work-related injury, burnout, psychological health, occupation, healthcare professional
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-11, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pre-Employment Functional Assessments (PEFA) are increasingly used in an attempt to obtain objective information on a potential employee’s functional capabilities. In rural and remote communities, there is typically reduced access to qualified therapists to perform these assessments, in part attributable to the time and costs associated with travelling to training courses. One potential method of providing the relevant training to conduct PEFAs is through the use of technologies such as videoconferencing or internet-based modules. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this project is to investigate the effectiveness of training therapists and therapy students in performing JobFit System PEFAs…via technology when compared with a face-to-face control group. METHODS: Fifty-three participants, consisting of 28 professional physiotherapists and occupational therapists, and 25 final year University of Queensland (UQ) physiotherapy and occupational therapy students, underwent JobFit Systems International PEFA training via one of four intervention groups: face-to-face, realtime videoconferencing, group-based online module and individual online module. RESULTS: Of the 53 participants, 49 achieved the minimum competency level of 75% in post-training competency assessments. No significant difference was found in training levels between intervention groups. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study suggest that technology, such as real-time videoconference and online learning modules, can be used to train both therapists and students in how to perform JobFit System PEFAs.
Abstract: Telehealth approaches to delivering ergonomics assessment hold great potential to improve service delivery in rural and remote settings. This case study describes a telehealth-based ergonomics service delivery process, and compares in-person and telehealth-based ergonomics approaches at an Alberta-based non-profit advocacy group. This project demonstrates that telehealth approaches to ergonomics do not lead to significantly different scoring outcomes for assessment of ergonomics issues, when compared to in-person assessments. This project also outlines the importance of live real-time video conferencing to improving communication, attaining key assessment information, and demonstrating ergonomic adjustments. However, some key considerations of bandwidth and hardware capabilities need to…be taken into account. Key communication strategies are outlined to improve rapport, maintain employee confidentiality, and reduce client anxiety around telehealth ergonomics assessments. This project provides further support for telehealth approaches to office ergonomics, and outlines some key implementation strategies and barriers that should be considered.
Keywords: Ergonomics, telehealth, rural and remote, workplace assessment, field study
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-5, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: All Terrain Vehicles on public roadways become major risk factors for the motorists. OBJECTIVE: To compare characteristics of crashes and injury severity related to single vehicle (SV) and multi-vehicle (MV) All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) roadway crashes in Pennsylvania, USA. METHODS: Data on ATV crashes occurring on public roads during the years 2010–2013 was obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and analyzed. RESULTS: Almost two-thirds of the incidents were single-vehicle incidents. Single-ATV incidents have a greater risk for incapacitating injury to drivers than do multi-vehicle ATV incidents. Other factors that increase risk…for incapacitating injury in SV crashes include being male, being a driver, alcohol/drug involvement, hitting a fixed object, and the incidents in non-daylight hours. For MV ATV incidents, head on and rear-end crashes and drivers who had alcohol/drug involvement were the two major incapacitating injury risk factors. CONCLUSIONS: This study has enabled us to better understand roadway ATV incidents, characteristics of SV and MV ATV crashes, and the incapacitating injury risks in both SV and MV crash incidents. Our study suggests that road safety and public health programs should focus on the users’ knowledge on laws regarding ATV usage on public roadways.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Participatory methodologies in disability and rehabilitation research are used to capture the perspectives of people with disabilities and to recognize the agency of stakeholder groups. Existing resources for conducting systematic reviews seldom provide details about how to integrate stakeholder input into the methodological process. OBJECTIVES: This article considers how knowledge translation strategies can support and advance systematic reviews that include diverse types of research. METHODS: Lessons learned from conducting a systematic review of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) employment research are explained and contextualized within research on barriers and facilitators to successful knowledge translation.…RESULTS: Steps from the research protocol are described to provide a procedural framework for integrating stakeholder feedback into the review process. Descriptive mapping, an analytical technique most commonly used in scoping reviews, was deemed necessary to provide a clearer understanding and overview of the diverse body of research evidence. CONCLUSIONS: Stakeholder feedback can address barriers to knowledge translation by engaging end-users of research products throughout the review process. Given the growing scholarly recognition of qualitative and mixed-methods techniques as suitable approaches for systematic review, there is further need for consideration on how these approaches can benefit from more participatory research processes.
Keywords: Knowledge Translation, ADA, research methods, meta-synthesis, meta-ethnography
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-15, 2017