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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: Heavy backpacks have been associated with various postural changes and consequently musculoskeletal disorders. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the immediate responses of varying backpack loads on cranio-vertebral angle (CVA), sagittal shoulder angle (SSA) and trunk forward lean (TFL) of young adults between the ages of 18–25 years. METHODS: This was a 3×3 cross over randomized controlled study with repeated measures among a convenience sample of young adults (n = 30; 50% male, 50% female). Each participant in a standing posture was assessed at four different loads: no backpack, carrying backpack of 5%, 10%, and 15% of body…weight (BW). A sagittal photograph was taken of the area of the body corresponding to spinal angle during each of these test conditions to allow for later analysis of postural deviations. Comparisons of the mean deviations of the different postural angles from baseline and between test conditions were made using ANOVA at p ≤0.05. RESULTS: Generally, there was a trend toward a decrease in the CVA and TFL with increasing backpack loads. Specifically, a significant decrease was seen for TFL at10% and 15% BW loads when compared with no load condition. In contrast, the decrease in CVA was only significant between no load condition and 15% body weight load. The SSA remained unchanged with backpack weight within 15% BW. CONCLUSION: Whereas the SSA of young adults may not be upset by an acute loading with a backpack within 15% of body weight, a 15% BW backpack led to more forward posture of the head on the neck. In addition, backpack load as low as 10% BW is enough to cause an immediate forward lean of the trunk.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Statistics indicate a high risk of developing work-related musculoskeletal disorders among hospital nurses. The challenge is to understand the associations between musculoskeletal symptoms and various individual and occupational risk factors. OBJECTIVE: This study examined the direct and indirect interactions of various risk factors with musculoskeletal complaints in hospital nurses. METHOD: In a cross-sectional design, Iranian hospital nurses from Semnan University of Medical Sciences participated in a questionnaire survey reporting their perceived perceptions of various work-related risk factors and musculoskeletal symptoms. We tested our proposed structural equation model to evaluate the relations between latent and…observed concepts and the relative importance and strength of exogenous variables in explaining endogenous musculoskeletal complaints. RESULTS: Measurement model fits the data relatively acceptable. Our findings showed direct effects of psychological, role-related and work posture stressors on musculoskeletal complaints. Fatigue mediated the adverse indirect relations of psychological, role-related, work posture and individual factors with musculoskeletal complaints. CONCLUSIONS: Structural equation modeling may provide methodological opportunities in occupational health research with a potential to explain the complexity of interactions among risk factors. Prevention of work-related musculoskeletal disorders among nurses must account for physical and psychosocial conditions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is a need to better understand the perceived experiences of workers in green buildings as the literature to this point has been mixed. OBJECTIVES: To re-evaluate occupant experiences within a LEED platinum building and investigate current experiences in general. METHODS: An online post occupancy evaluation (POE) survey of 62 occupants of LEED Platinum building on a US college campus is reported. The online survey addressed indoor environmental quality in relation to health, productivity and satisfaction. RESULTS: Of the respondents, 38.7% had participated in a prior POE of this building in 2011…and results were compared for this subgroup, as well as for overall results. There was a significant increase in satisfaction with office workstations and air freshness as compared to 3 years earlier. However, there was also a significant increase in reported frequency of all physical symptoms. When looking just at the current POE results, control over features of the workstation had a significant relationship with most outcomes of interest. CONCLUSION: While improvements have been noted, issues continue to exist that have implications for health, productivity and satisfaction. The results of this study have implications for the ergonomic design of workstations and indoor environmental quality within LEED buildings.
Keywords: Green buildings, office ergonomics, indoor environmental conditions, occupant health and comfort
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-11, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The economic recession produced a rapid rise of unemployment rates that was more visible in Southern European countries. There is evidence that unemployment correlates highly with individuals’ poor life satisfaction. OBJECTIVE: To analyse the relationship between life satisfaction, household composition and socioeconomic deprivation in people facing unemployment during the economic recession. METHODS: A sample of 748 unemployed people from Lisbon (Portugal) completed a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Cantril’s ladder of life scale, and the latent and manifest benefits of work scale (LAMB). Multiple regression analyses were used to test the associations between life satisfaction and…all other variables. RESULTS: Partnered people report higher life satisfaction compared to singles. Financial deprivation and lack of structured time were the strongest factors negatively related to life satisfaction in both partnered and single people. Having children had a particular negative effect on the life satisfaction of partnered men; and living with an unemployed partner together with lack of social contact and high enforced activity had a negative effect on life satisfaction in partnered women. CONCLUSION: The heterogeneity of socioeconomic needs found by household composition bring practical policy implications for support actions targeting unemployed individuals in the unique context of economic recession.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to provide evidence regarding the Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment (BTE) Work Simulator II’s recommended grip endurance protocol. The grip endurance protocol of the BTE Simulator II has never been validated, though it has been used often for the rehabilitation of work-related injuries and other occupational dysfunctions. Without validation, the grip endurance protocol may or may not be providing skilled clinicians with appropriate evaluation results. This study evaluated a protocol comparing the BTE Simulator II to the Jamar Dynamometer to determine how the BTE compares to the Jamar device. OBJECTIVE: To establish…whether the recommended grip endurance protocol for the BTE Simulator II is comparable to the parameters established for the Jamar handgrip dynamometer. METHODS: Data were gathered from 140 participants ages 18 to 40 at the time of the study. Participants completed protocols established for the BTE Simulator II and compared to a performance of a grip strength endurance protocol for the Jamar Handgrip Dynamometer. After establishing baseline strength levels for the participants, they were timed to see how long they could sustain a 30% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) on each device. Sample t -tests were calculated to compare the results of the BTE Simulator II to the previously validated Jamar device. RESULTS: A dependent sample t- test found no statistically significant difference between the times a participant sustained 30% of their maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) on the BTE Simulator II with attachment #162 versus the Jamar Dynamometer when comparing the differences of the means. This provides possible evidence of validity for the BTE endurance protocol. The independent sample t- test found no statistically significant difference between the grip endurance of the males versus the females, however, the means indicate men sustained 30% of their MVC longer than their female counterparts on the BTE. CONCLUSIONS: The findings indicate that the 30% MVC may be a reliable baseline for grip strength endurance testing following the BTE Simulator II protocol. This suggests that the BTE Simulator II’s endurance protocol may be a useful tool to document client progression during rehabilitation after sustaining an upper extremity dysfunction. Further research is needed to validate this protocol using different populations.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Research supports a link between exercise and falls prevention in the older population. OBJECTIVES: Our aims were to evaluate pain perception and balance skills in a group of elderly subjects and to examine the consequences of a standardized equipment-free exercise program intervention on these variables. The study utilized a randomized controlled trial method. METHODS: 92 subjects were recruited from a rural Sicilian village (Resuttano, Sicily, Italy). Subjects were randomly split into two groups, an experimental group (EG; n = 49) and a control group (CG; n = 43). Qualified fitness instructors delivered the standardized physical exercise…program for the EG whilst the CG did not receive this exercise intervention. The Berg Balance Scale and the Oswestry Disability Index were administered in both groups before (T0) and after the intervention (T1). RESULTS: At T1, the EG group significantly improvement in balance (p < 0.0001) and pain perception (p < 0.0001). No significant differences were found within the CG both in BBS and ODI, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that a 13-weeks standardized exercise equipment-free program is effective in improving balance and perception of pain in the elderly. This type of intervention can consequently provide a low cost strategy to counteract the rate of disability in elderly.
Keywords: Elderly, pain, balance, exercise
vol. Preprint, no. Preprint, pp. 1-8, 2017
Abstract: BACKGROUND: To identify physical measures that predict maximal handgrip strength (MHGS) and provide evidence for identifying lack of maximum effort with assessing upper extremity weakness. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated anthropometric measurements associated with MHGS of healthy young adults. METHODS: A convenience sample of 150 healthy adults ages 19 to 34 years old completed the MHGS assessment, which was measured using a Jamar dynamometer according to the protocol of the American Society of Hand Therapists, for both dominant and non-dominant hands. Several anthropometric data points were collected, which included height, body weight, forearm length, forearm circumference,…hand length, and hand width. RESULTS: Multivariable linear regression analysis indicated gender and hand width were uniquely and significantly associated with participants’ MHGS for dominant and non-dominant hand and accounted for more than 60% of the variance, with R2 = 0.60, P < 0.001 for the dominant hand model and R2 = 0.64, P < 0.001 for the non-dominant hand model. CONCLUSIONS: Hand width is the best predictor of MHGS in both the non-dominant and dominant hands for healthy young adults.
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