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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: 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: 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: To achieve high safety levels, mere compliance with safety regulations is not sufficient; employees must be proactive and demonstrate safety citizenship behaviors. Trust is considered as a mechanism for facilitating the effects of a leader on employee citizenship behaviors. Increasingly research has focused on the role of trust in a safety context; however, the role of coworker trust has been overlooked. OBJECTIVES: The mediating role of coworker trust in the relationship between the leader-member exchange and safety citizenship behavior is the focus of this field study. METHODS: Front-line employees from an air traffic control…center and an airline maintenance department completed surveys measuring leader-member exchange, co-worker trust, and safety citizenship behavior. RESULTS: Structural Equation Modeling revealed affective and cognitive trust in coworkers is influenced by leader-member exchange. A trust-based mediation model where cognitive trust and affective trust mediate the relationship between the leader-member exchange and safety citizenship behavior emerged. CONCLUSION: Results of this study add to our understanding of the relationship between leader-member exchange and safety behavior. The effect of co-worker trust and the extent to which employees participate in workplace safety practice were identified as critical factors. The findings show that managers need to focus on developing cognitive and affective coworker trust to improve safety citizenship behaviors.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Employees with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) face various risks in the workplace. Little is known of the specific challenges women with ADHD experience. OBJECTIVE: To explore the experiences of working women with ADHD and learn the strategies and accommodations that facilitate their maintaining employment. METHOD: Qualitative phenomenological approach was used to echo women’s subjective perceptions and experiences representing their daily interactions in their workplace. In-depth interviews were conducted with eleven tertiary-educated employed women (M = 33.5; SD = 6.61 years), diagnosed with ADHD and the transcripts were analyzed by three researchers, using the qualitative phenomenological approach. RESULTS:…Most interviewed women with ADHD described interactions with their workplace as confusing, overwhelming, and chaotic. They perceived their ADHD as a significant obstacle to success in employment that also conferred some advantages. Three interview themes are explored here (1) challenges in coping with job demands and the workplace, including the disclosure dilemma; (2) personal coping strategies; (3) useful accommodations. CONCLUSIONS: For the women interviewed, employment was important for their self-identity, beyond simply making a living. Their experiences indicate impaired executive functioning and inhibition and sensory sensitivity, consistently with theoretical models for ADHD. They identified gender-specific issues, such as using medication during pregnancy, which led them to seek for non-pharmacological coping mechanisms. They contributed practical knowledge regarding employee-led adaptations and employer-provided workplace accommodations.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nearly eleven years have passed since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Formaldehyde (FA) as a known human carcinogen (group 1), yet the safety of anatomy pathology workers who are currently exposed to FA is still a matter of concern. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the literature to discover which topics have been focused on and what the latest developments are in managing FA indoor pollution in anatomy pathology departments. which topics have been focused on and what the latest developments in managing FA indoor pollution in anatomy pathology departments.…METHODS: For the purpose of this review, we searched for publications in PubMed and Web of Science using selected keywords. The articles were reviewed and categorized into one or more of the following three categories based on subject matter: exposure levels exposure controls and alternatives. RESULTS: Our search resulted in a total of 31 publications that matched our inclusion criteria. The topics discussed, in order of frequency (from highest to lowest), were: “exposure controls”, “exposure levels” and “alternatives”. The most frequently suggested intervention was to improve local exhaust ventilation systems to minimize FA levels in gross anatomy laboratories. CONCLUSIONS: We found a lack of evidence-based improvement interventions that aimed to control exposure to FA. According to this finding, and pending a valid chemical substitute for FA, we suggest the need for more in-depth studies targeting measures to minimize exposures to FA in pathology departments.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous research support the claim that people who work in offices and sit for a long time are particularly prone to musculoskeletal disorders. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this paper is to introduce an exercise training program designed to decrease muscle stiffness and pain that can be performed in the office setting. METHODS: Forty healthy office workers (age: 28±5.3 years old; body mass: 87.2±10.2 kg; height: 1.79±0.15 m) apart from suffering from any sub-clinical symptoms of muscle and joint stiffness, and who had at least two years of experience in office work were chosen and randomly…assigned to either an experimental group (n = 20) or a control group (n = 20). The experimental group performed the exercise training program three times a week for 11 weeks. The Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire was used to measure the pain levels in the neck, shoulders, and lower back areas. The Borg CR-10 Scale was used to measure their perceived exertion when doing the exercises, and a goniometer was used to measure the changes in range of motion (ROM) of the neck, hips, knees, and shoulders. RESULTS: The overall results indicated that the exercise program could significantly (p < 0.05) reduce the neck, shoulders, and lower back pains of the participants in the exercise group while those in the control group showed no improvement in those pains. There were significant (p < 0.05) increases in the ROM of the hips, the neck, both knees and shoulders in the exercise group. Participants showed significant (p = 0.011) decreases in perceived exertion scores after the exercises. CONCLUSIONS: The exercise training program designed in this study not only can effectively reduce neck, shoulders, and lower back pains, but also can improve the ROM or flexibility of the office workers.
Keywords: Physical activity, musculoskeletal disorders, range of motion, back pain
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-8, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: While occupational therapy currently tends to view itself as operating based on a client-centered, collaborative approach, studies often reflect a gap between rhetoric and practice. OBJECTIVE: This work presents a new pedagogic standard which moves away from the medical model and toward a collaborative, client-centred approach. It functions to support a practice which embraces the respect for, and partnership with, people receiving services and replaces historic patterns which may strengthen the legitimacy of the professional and sustain clients’ dependence. METHODS: This pedagogy develops a therapeutic dialogue which draws from partnerships created in the classroom,…where occupational therapy students engage in courses with a co-teacher service user, and examines how the collaboration with service users contributes to the training of occupational therapy students. CONCLUSIONS: Students and co-teachers can participate in the challenging experience of integrating theoretical knowledge with lived experience, thereby augmenting the development of a new and inclusive knowledge base.
Keywords: Co-teaching, service users, social model of disability, critical pedagogy, disability studies
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-6, 2017
Abstract: We present an integrated conceptual framework for improving occupational safety. This framework is based on sociotechnical principles and is based on the premise that occupational safety should not be an isolated function but rather seen as directly related to an organizational mission which combines performance and well-being. As such, a fundamental goal is to achieve joint optimization between social and technical components of the system. This framework consists of four basic questions: (1) How can we determine the overall level of safety in the system? (2) How can we determine what kinds of interventions would improve safety? (3) How can…we determine if the organization is ready to implement safety interventions? (4) How can we determine the best pathway for implementing safety interventions? A sociotechnical approach implies that safety must be considered from a complexity perspective as an emergent property. Hence, a variety of methodological approaches is required.
Keywords: Safety climate, safety control structure, intervention, readiness
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-12, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This paper studies the impact of musical religious songs (hymns) for managing stress of Indian Engineering students through Galvanic Skin Response (GSR). OBJECTIVE: The objective of the paper is to find out, whether listening to hymns is able to reduce the value of GSR. METHODS: Sample students were selected through initial screening and the students who reported high mental stress during the interview were selected for the main drills. All the readings were taken using a GSR meter. Statistical t -test was used for the purpose of hypothesis testing. RESULTS: The study…examines the relation between GSR and stress. The results indicated that listening to hymns had a significant effect on the value of GSR. The results highlight that GSR decreased at t = 300 seconds for the experimental group, who listened to hymns, as compared to control group (not exposed to the same). CONCLUSION: It is recommended that, this amazingly effortless and yet highly efficient traditional technique of listening to hymns be made a part of student’s routine curriculum. The paper aims at spreading awareness of listening to hymns as one of the modes of Stress Management amongst Indian Engineering Students.
Keywords: Hymns, GSR, GSR sensor
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-12, 2017