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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: A group of researchers from humanities, business, geography and rehabilitation science at McMaster University carried out a qualitative research study involving persons with disabilities in a south-western Ontario community. The study examined how persons with disabilities defined positive work environments both in paid work and volunteer activity. The study used a framework of organizational factors, social factors; social supports outside the workplace and individual characteristics. The study found that participants stressed the importance of positive attitudes, respect, understanding, communication and education as key components.
Keywords: Workplace environments, Job communication, Disability and work
Abstract: This article compares the results of an occupational therapy focused ethnographic study of time management with current concepts of time management in the business field. Researchers conducted in-depth interviews with six married working mothers to explore issues of time management. Qualitative analysis was used to identify four essential components, which are re-labeled Time Mastery: (1) Routines, (2) Instrumental and Social strategies, (3) Motivation, and (4) Cognitive Components. This occupational therapy model, is discussed within the context of Stephen Covey's ‘four generations’ of time management in the world of business: (1) Notes and checklists, (2) Calendars and appointment books, (3) Prioritization…and goal-setting and (4) Enhancing relationships and accomplishing results. Possible applications of the Time Mastery Model in work rehabilitation are suggested.
Keywords: Time management, Time mastery, Routines, Occupational therapy, Work rehabilitation
Abstract: Promoting safety in the workplace has been attempted in a variety of ways. Increasingly, industries are using groups such as safety teams and quality circles to promote worker safety. Group influences on individual behavior and attitudes have long been studied in the social psychology literature, but the theories have not been commonly found outside the psychology arena. This paper describes the group theories of group polarization, risky shift, social loafing, groupthink and team think and attempts to apply these theories to existing studies that examine work group influences on safety. Interesting parallels were found but only one study examined group…influences as their primary focus of research. Since groups are increasingly used for safety promotion, future research on safety that studies group influences with respect to current group theories is recommended.
Keywords: Group behavior, Social psychology, Work groups, Group polarization, Social loafing
Abstract: Predicting return to work in persons with traumatic brain injury has been a challenge for doctors, rehabilitation therapists and vocational counselors. Although traditional vocational rehabilitation may be beneficial to many clients, there are others who are unable to return to work through customary means. Supported employment is a method of vocational rehabilitation in which a professional staff person (a job coach) provides structured job placement services and highly individualized training at the job site in addition to ongoing services throughout the entire length of employment. This approach has been used as a last resort to treatment, but has very high…success rates (50–78% success rates for those deemed unemployable by other means). Work hardening was used in the 1980s as a last resort to therapy for the industrial injured worker. However, it was found that when clients entered the program sooner, they had a greater chance of return to work than if they entered the program after a prolonged period of time, thus saving money. If the individual with a traumatic brain injury is placed in supported employment programs sooner, he may have a greater chance of return to work than if supported employment is used only as a last resort.
Keywords: Supported employment, Traumatic brain injury, Vocational rehabilitation, Work hardening
Abstract: The study examines the age-related risk of fall injuries among female nurses and nursing auxiliaries in Sweden. Fall-injury ratios (FRs) were calculated, all injuries aggregated and for four injury types, employing five age categories and four reference years (1980–1995). Although there was a relationship between fall-injury pattern and year of observation, in all years and for all injury patterns, nurses and nursing auxiliaries aged 45–54 and 55–65 years were the only age groups to register FRs substantially higher than 1.0. The findings suggest that patterns in injuries due to falls among these workers might be influenced by certain time-related conditions,…but that general preventive priority should be given to workers aged 45 and over.
Abstract: Although pregnancy is a temporary condition, the prevalence of back pain has been estimated to be approximately 49–50% and pain may continue post partum. Often women have to limit or curtail daily living activities because of the pain. The purpose of this paper is to describe physical changes that occur during pregnancy and discuss positioning and body mechanics to prevent or reduce back pain during performance of self-care, homemaking and vocational activities. Suggested guidelines for continuation of various physical job demands and safety based on the American College of Obstreticians and Gynecologists are described.
Keywords: Injury, Pregnancy, Activities of daily living, Homemaking, Vocational activities
Abstract: Workers in the residential construction industry face unacceptably high risk of injury, disability and death. Attempts to implement comprehensive health and safety programs in this industry have met with little success. The HomeSafe Pilot Program is a novel residential construction safety program developed and sponsored by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Region VIII and the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Denver (HBA). Test subjects represent over 7475 persons employed in residential construction in the six county Denver Metro area of Colorado. The HomeSafe Pilot Program includes primary behavioral, engineering and administrative interventions to improve safe work practices in…residential construction. It has some unique features of brevity, specificity and incentives not seen elsewhere in the construction industry. Its overall goal is to guide residential construction companies along a path of progressive development of comprehensive safety and health programs. The HomeSafe Pilot Program is introduced and compared to other safety and health program models developed by OSHA and the HBA. This study began in January 1997 and will continue through the millennium.
Keywords: Injury prevention, HomeSafe, Model safety and health program, OSHA, HBA, NAHB, Incentives, Effectiveness
Abstract: This study examined the relationship of compliance and grip strength return 6 weeks post-carpal tunnel release surgery on a sample of 11 factory workers residing in the midwest. The percent difference between pre-operative and post-operative grip strengths was – 6.00%. An ANOVA ruled out age as a significant factor in grip strength return (F=1.20, P=0.351). A two sample t-test for gender differences in return of grip strength proved insignificant as well (t=1.01, P=0.351). The low negative correlation between participant self-report of compliance and percent difference of grip strength was – 0.426. Work was reported as the most significant barrier to…compliance. Results of this study suggested that 6 weeks of occupational therapy may not be sufficient for recovery to pre-operational grip strength status. Participants with the greatest amount of compliance in combination with returning to work soon after surgery demonstrated the weakest grip strength. This result implied that the exercise program in association with returning to work may have been too strenuous. Return to work and resulting work demands should be taken into consideration when prescribing home exercise programs. These conclusions are to be considered tentative and cannot be generalized because of the small sample size used to generate the data in this study.
Abstract: Understanding of patients' environments from a global perspective can enhance the positive effects of treatment. This understanding will entail expanding our definition of environment and community, and a consideration of all the environmental components and their inter-relationships. Submission of papers for this column is invited.
Keywords: Global health issues, Global perspective, Health
Abstract: Ergonomics, in the traditional definition, is the science of design of work sites and work methods which influence production performance. In recent years, worker complaints and reports of injuries have caused evaluation of the effect of work stressors on workers. Currently, the rehabilitation specialist plays a pivotal role in both prevention and management of physical work related complaints. Rehabilitation ergonomic practitioners combine a scientific background in function and pathology with the act of developing preventive or restorative remedies. A volunteer group of sixteen rehabilitation professionals who utilize ergonomic principles in the workplace developed a document, identifying job functions of the…newly defined field. This paper presents philosophy and a model for educational development and potential credentialing areas for rehabilitation ergonomists.
Keywords: Ergonomics, Rehabilitation, Work sites, Cumulative trauma disorders, Pathology