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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: Objectives: The dual aims of this study were to investigate the unemployed sicklisted in an area of rural northern Sweden and to compare the results with results obtained earlier from the city of Stockholm. Study design: Data were obtained mainly from the social insurance office registers. The study covers 795 cases. Results: The results show the unexpected finding that the proportion of unemployed among sicklisted people was lower in the northern rural area (15%) than in Stockholm (20%). Mental diagnoses were, as in Stockholm, more common among the unemployed, especially among the men. In Jämtland it is more…common for the employed to leave the social insurance system after sick leave than is the case for the unemployed. The latter, instead, tend to start a new period of sick leave or a period on rehabilitation allowance. In Stockholm it was more common that the unemployed compared with the employed replaced a sick period with a temporary disability pension. Conclusions: The study indicates that the unemployed sicklisted people are a group with special needs concerning rehabilitation. This poses a special challenge to the rehabilitation counsellors working with the unemployed.
Keywords: Unemployment, Sicklisting, Rehabilitation, Disability pension, Rural area
Abstract: Due to a variety of psychological and/or economic reasons, the validity of grip strength measurement to assess physical characteristics, progress in rehabilitation and degree of disability is sometimes compromised by a subject's deliberate submaximal performance. This paper analyzes the reliability and validity of various approaches used to detect sincerity of effort through grip strength measurement. Studies basing methodologies on the bell-shaped curve theory, cortical control theory, analysis of force relationships, use of coefficient of variation, and EMG techniques are examined. Strengths and limitations to each approach are discussed. Implications for future research are stated.
Abstract: Though the reconciliation between the US Senate and House of Representatives on reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments (IDEA) was not successful in 1996, one area of agreement was the lowering of the age to begin transition services planning to 14. The current study provides documentation in support of this policy change. The enrollment records over a 5-year period of more than 7000 students were examined in Delaware public schools for the Class of 1995 to determine whether the exiting rates were different for students with and without a disability. Results indicate that students with a disability…exited school at a significantly greater rate in grade 9 than their regular education peers; exited at almost double the rate in grade 10; and continued to exit at an alarming rate even in grade 12. Thus the need to begin effective transition services planning at age 14 or earlier is supported by this study of longitudinal data.
Abstract: Society has an interest in maintaining the work capacity of its aging workers. Fewer and fewer younger workers are entering the workforce to replace older citizens no longer able to perform the worker role. There is a demonstrated relationship between increased strength and work capacity, yet the occupational therapy literature emphasizes generalized exercise programming. This type of programming is ineffective at building strength in the elderly worker. High intensity progressive resistance exercise (PRE) can increase strength in the very old worker, yet therapists are hesitant to employ PRE, perhaps due to a potential bias against the use of high intensity…PRE with this cohort. Use of PRE may present some difficulties in the clinical situation where continual supervision and resistance training equipment is not available. The adaptive use of functional activities as a resistance training strategy to build strength may be able to overcome the difficulties attendant with the use of PRE while preserving its benefits. Several other implications for occupational therapy practitioners are discussed.
Abstract: OSHAs role in ergonomics is reviewed and recommendations for control of work-related musculoskeletal disorders are summarized. The potential impact of these proposed regulations is discussed. A case review of a food manufacturing plant implementing portions of these ergonomics guidelines is presented and preliminary outcomes are highlighted.
Keywords: Industry, Musculoskeletal disorders, Medical management
Abstract: Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic autoimmune disorder affecting nearly 2.1 million Americans. This condition often leads to chronic pain, inflammation, joint destruction, feelings of helplessness, maladaptive coping, depression and activity limitations. For those individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and chronic arthritic pain, the role of the worker has become difficult to maintain. Research suggests that cognitive–behavioral intervention reduces chronic arthritic pain, decreases disease activity and improves coping skills in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. To be effective, cognitive–behavioral techniques must be practiced on a regular basis. The literature suggests that the American worker with rheumatoid arthritis would greatly benefit from work-site wellness…programs that provide cognitive–behavioral intervention as a ‘reasonable accommodation’. Occupational therapy practitioners can help to advance the positive effects of this psychoeducational intervention by providing ‘booster treatments’ to clients after formal treatment sessions have ceased.
Abstract: The use of education in the clinical setting to help chronic sufferers cope with their back pain is not a new concept. Back schools and work hardening programs have been running for many years, but education about back pain at the primary care level, in industry specifically, has been slower in developing. Studies that have used back schools in industry have had some success but not as much as might be hoped, often not being very cost-efficient nor producing lasting changes in health behaviours. However, the use of educational pamphlets in the primary care setting have shown success in changing…individuals knowledge about back pain and altering number of visits to a physician. Furthermore, when a pamphlet, designed on the basis of current knowledge about the management of non-specific low back pain, was distributed in a manufacturing industry, there were changes in beliefs about back pain which mirrored substantial change in absence behaviour. In conclusion, education through the medium of a pamphlet seems able to change knowledge and behaviours related to back pain and, with sufficiently large reductions in absence from the workplace it would appear to be a cost-efficient method. Further studies are required to confirm the validity and cost-efficiency of pamphlet education for back pain in the manufacturing industry, but also to determine pamphlet utility in other work environments and for other health problems.
Keywords: Back pain, Absence, Health promotion, Management
Abstract: This article describes strategies for building working alliances among stakeholders in the rehabilitation process. Beginning with the intake interview and progressing through clarifying expectations, establishing bonds, setting goals, formulating tasks and resolving conflicts, the working alliance provides a model for meeting a wide range of client needs in a comprehensive, cost-effective manner.
Keywords: Rehabilitation, Professional relationships, Interpersonal skills, Expectations, Conflict resolution
Abstract: The recent increase in workers' compensation litigation and the escalating costs of healthcare have created a need for accurate identification of individuals who put forth submaximal effort during functional capacity testing. This paper reviews methods healthcare professionals can use to prove submaximal efforts and specifically addresses the importance of test reliability, subjective and objective measures of submaximal effort (including the DASH questionnaire, 5-rung and rapid exchange grip strength measures, forced-choice testing and the MMPI), techniques used to elicit maximal effort and test accuracy and patient motivations and examiner biases. Use of these methods will contribute to the establishment of a…functionally sound healthcare system.