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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: In Canada, functional capacity evaluations (FCEs) are commonly administered by several health care professions including kinesiologists. Kinesiologists have been recently regulated as health care professionals in Ontario and we know little about their demographics, the frequency of FCE administration, or the types of FCEs used by this group. OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were to identify: 1) the demographic characteristics and FCE education of kinesiology FCE practitioners; 2) the FCE systems most used by these practitioners and 3) the constructs from assessments used to determine functional capacity. METHODS: A survey was distributed to…members of the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance. Descriptive statistics and frequency distributions were calculated from the survey responses (n = 77). RESULTS: FCE practitioners were represented by kinesiologists (79% ) practicing more than 15 years and 1–5 years, who received FCE training from a certification course. ARCON (23% ) was the most common FCE system used. Low-level lifting (43% ), mid-lift (38% ), pulling (38% ) and walking (38% ) are the most common FCE task components used to assess functional capacity. Although kinesiologists consider multiple factors when making decisions about task component endpoints, biomechanical observations/body mechanics are the primary methods used. CONCLUSIONS: Kinesiologists are conducting FCEs for the primary purpose of preparing return-to-work or workplace accommodation recommendations. Although functional capacity is determined using multiple factors, there is an emphasis on biomechanics and body mechanics. Focusing FCE training and research on these constructs may provide opportunities to further strengthen the reliability and validity of FCE outcomes.
Keywords: Return-to-work, functional capacity assessments, kinesiology, allied health professionals, occupationalrehabilitation
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-10, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cynicism, as a personality trait, has adverse effects on health. The question was asked whether cynical attitudes that develop due to work-related stress correlate with stress levels and whether it has a negative influence on health. OBJECTIVES: To investigate associations of the cynicism subscale scores of the Maslach Burnout Inventory–General Survey (MBI-GS) with levels of stress, anxiety, questionnaire-based physical health and with a number of physiological health risk indicators. METHODS: Cynicism, anxiety, questionnaire-based physical health scores, as well as allostatic load, heart rate variability and C-reactive protein, were assessed in 27 males working between…40 and 80 irregular hours per week. RESULTS: Cynicism scores related to stress levels (r = 0.411, p = 0.030). Effects of work-related cynicism on physical health were suggested by negative associations with questionnaire-based scores on physical health (r = –0.383, p = 0.044) and heart rate variability indicators (r = –0.379, p = 0.047 to r = –0.496, p = 0.007), and by positive associations with anxiety levels (r = 0.408, p = 0.031), heart rate (r = 0.449, p = 0.017), BMI (r = 0.426, p = 0.024) allostatic load (r = 0.360, p = 0.065) and levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (r = 0.407, p = 0.035). CONCLUSIONS: Cynicism, as reflected by the MBI-GS, increases with increased stress levels and could contribute to the decline in the health reported for burnout.
Keywords: Cynicism, stress, health, workplace
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-5, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT) uses compensatory strategies and environmental supports to support cognitive impairments and improve functioning. CAT may be useful for addressing vocational recovery in first-episode psychosis (FEP) because cognitive impairments are common and vocational recovery is a key goal of young people with FEP. OBJECTIVE: To describe clinical observations and practice experience when delivering CAT with FEP clients and explore potential benefits via objective outcome measures for improving vocational outcomes. METHODS: In this pilot study, five FEP participants received 9 months of CAT. Participant goals and functional needs and clinical observations were…recorded. Formal measures of functioning, quality of life and motivation were independently administered pre- and post-intervention. RESULTS: Vocational recovery (education, employment) was found to be a primary functional goal of FEP participants. Accordingly, CAT had a strong focus on vocational functioning, including functional domains required for successful work or educational outcomes, such as organization and planning, transportation and activities of daily living. Factors of clinical importance when delivering CAT with the FEP participants included cognitive heterogeneity, family involvement, flexibility in compensatory and environmental supports used, and experience of stigma. Improvements from baseline to post-intervention were observed on most measures, with the largest improvements seen in global functioning (including vocation), planning and organization, and quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: CAT is an intervention that appears well suited to addressing vocational functioning in FEP, but larger controlled trials are needed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Psychosocial factors, including job demands and poor resources, have been linked to stress, health problems, and negative job attitudes. However, worksite based interventions and programs targeting psychosocial factors may change employees’ perceptions of their work climate and work attitudes. OBJECTIVE: This pilot study describes a newly developed worksite based participatory organizational intervention program that was tested in the social service sector. It is evaluated using participants’ perceptions of the intervention to investigate its acceptability as a feature of feasibility and its short-term effects on work climate factors (job demands and resources) and work-related attitudes. METHODS:…Forty employees of a Swedish social service unit provided self-reports before, during, and after the intervention. RESULTS: As for effects, quantitative role overload and social support decreased while turnover intention increased. Responses to an open-ended question showed that participants considered the intervention program valuable for addressing issues relating to the psychosocial work climate. CONCLUSIONS: Although the findings are preliminary, it was possible to carry out this worksite based participatory organizational program in this particular setting. Also, the preliminary findings underscore the challenges associated with designing and implementing this type of intervention program, thus adding to the methodological discussion on implementation and evaluation.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Seafaring is characterized by specific stressors and health risks. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article was to compare the prevalence of various lifestyle factors between the shipping and home environments, and in addition to test the relations between lifestyle factors, perceived stress on board, and health in seafarers. METHODS: A total of 530 Croatian seafarers participated in an on-line survey. The questionnaire contained requests for demographic data and a set of questions relating to lifestyle, stress on board, physical health symptoms, and mental health. RESULTS: The data showed higher sleep deprivation, higher…levels of smoking and unhealthier diet at sea than at home, with prevalence of alcohol consumption and physical exercise being more favourable for the shipping environment. Sleep deprivation, unhealthy diet, lack of physical exercise, and smoking are shown as negative correlates of various measures of health. Stress on board was associated with sleep deprivation and unhealthy diet, and with more unfavourable physical and mental health. CONCLUSIONS: The results give practical implications for promoting health in seafarers. Some of the lifestyle factors tested, such as alcohol use, smoking and physical exercise, fall rather under individual control, but others, such as a healthy, balanced diet on board and sleeping hygiene at sea, should be improved by shipping management.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: What a stroke means for working-age persons has not been sufficiently studied from a sociological perspective. OBJECTIVE: This article uses the empirical material of a larger study to describe and analyze how institutional practices and discourses influence attempts to return to work after a stroke. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten persons who have had a stroke and ten civil servants and professionals from the Swedish Public Employment Service, the Social Insurance Agency, and different health care institutions. The qualitative analysis was inspired by institutional ethnography. RESULTS: The analysis shows how…persons who have had a stroke and civil servants and professionals in welfare organizations share the same goal: a return to working life for the former. The persons in this study related to, translated, and put into practice discourses of normality and employability in this process. However, there were, at times, conflicting institutional practices between the different organizations. CONCLUSIONS: Conflicting institutional practices connected to the discourses of normality and employability contribute to the difficulties that persons who have had a stroke face when trying to return to work after recovery.
Keywords: Swedish welfare state, normality, employability, workability, the work strategy (arbetslinjen)
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-11, 2017