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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: The relatively new field of Psychoneuroimmuonology (PNI) seeks to reveal links between many systems of the body once thought to work independently of each other. Through a growing body of research, scientists are revealing that what goes on in our mind impacts not only our mental well being but our state of physical health. Presented here is an overview of the stress response and discussion regarding the effects of stress on physiological processes. Of particular interest…is the role stress plays on the ability of the immune system to function properly. Both landmark and current research is cited which supports connections between these systems. Finally, the future of PNI is discussed as well as the role health care providers may take to embrace mind/body philosophies.
Abstract: Four students with learning disabilities were interviewed about their experiences at work. Two students, one male and one female, were high school seniors and two students, one male and female, were freshmen at a community college. Individual student interviews ranged from 2 to 4 hours. Informal interviews were conducted with students' teachers and parents. At the time of the interview, students had part-time, unskilled jobs in which they had worked for at least 6 months prior…to participation in the study. Themes that emerged from analysis of the data included students' reactions to entering the workforce, stress in learning the job tasks, overcoming difficulties by developing coping strategies, learning work values and parental influences. Student interviews underscored the importance of practice runs and real life learning to reduce stress prior to entering the work force.
Abstract: College students, with or without disabilities, are faced with numerous stressful situations within the university environment. For an individual diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, success at this level requires non-traditional supports. With limited knowledge of this disorder, the university staff are faced with a distinct disadvantage in their efforts to outline an appropriate plan. While providing traditional academic assistance is now commonplace, federal laws mandate that universities widen the scope of support so…as not to exclude any student from campus activities or programs. In an effort to provide a framework for support, this article interfaces diagnostic information with the realities of college life. Areas of focus include the transition process, social rules, engagement in academic activities, and mastering a new life of independence. It is hoped that the presented suggestions might prove helpful as universities begin to establish service support teams and outline plans of support.
Abstract: Over the past 20 years, an extensive body of research evidence has documented that psychosocial work stressors are risk factors for hypertension and cardiovascular disease. These stressors, which appear to be increasing in prevalence, include job strain (the combination of psychological job demands and low job control), imbalance between job efforts and rewards, threat-avoidant vigilant work, and long work hours. This article reviews the evidence linking these stressors with hypertension and CVD, and the…physiological and social psychological mechanisms underlying the associations. Also described are methods for measuring work stressors and new, more accurate techniques for measuring blood pressure. Finally, strategies for reducing work stressors and preventing hypertension and CVD are reviewed. These include clinical assessment, worksite health promotion, work organization interventions, legal approaches and work site surveillance.
Abstract: Occupational stress is implicated as an etiology for a variety of diseases. Many of the etiological theories surrounding these associations incriminate some deviation of autonomic nervous system activity. New methods of analyzing cardiovascular data obtained from a Holter monitor provide a window into a worker's autonomic nervous system throughout the day, in many cases for two days. These methods allow a variety of comparisons, for example, between workers of varying job stress levels, between work days…and rest days, day and night, and between high stress and low stress periods. Identifying altered autonomic nervous system activity patterns throughout the day may: 1. provide insight into the etiology of stress related pathologies; 2. allow quantification of exposure; 3. investigate possible interaction effects of different exposures; 4. lead to monitoring methods capable of identifying whether an employee's job stress is increasing his or her risk for disease.
Abstract: The intense battles preceding the recent promulgation of OSHA's Ergonomics Program Standard serve as a case study demonstrating the growing understanding that MSD causation, development, and exacerbation are the result of the combined contribution of (and possibly interaction between) a wide range of biomechanical and psychosocial stressors. The best designed studies, those that adequately measure both biomechanical and psychosocial exposures, strongly support this hypothesis. Work stress is one of the results of this stressor…combination and is part of the physiological pathway to MSDs and a wide range of other occupational diseases. Prevention efforts geared to a single or single class of exposure may be only partly effective, ineffective, or even counter productive. The most effective control strategies are rooted in on-going, participatory ergonomics programs, incorporating a joint labor/management ergonomic team; this blueprint for intervention necessarily addresses the roots of both physical and psychosocial work stress experienced by workers.
Abstract: Occupational stress is a widespread occurrence in the United States. It is a contributing factor to absenteeism, disease, injury and lowered productivity. In general stress management programs in the work place that include relaxation therapies, exercise, and biofeedback have been shown to reduce the physiological symptoms such as hypertension, and increase job satisfaction and job performance. Strategies to implement a successful stress management program include incorporating the coping activities into one's daily…schedule, monitoring one's symptoms and stressors, and being realistic in setting up a schedule that is relevant and attainable. A short form of meditation, daily exercise program and the use of heart rate or thermal biofeedback can be helpful to a worker experiencing occupational stress.
Abstract: Age-related changes in physical and cognitive abilities can raise adaptive challenges for older working adults. Older workers exhibit considerable capacity to manage and cope with the stress of job and environmental demands, but at some point, many can become overwhelmed, and find themselves at increased risk for health consequences, injury, disability, and diminished productivity. Older workers are, however, a highly heterogeneous population, and many continue to work safely and successfully. Employers are…encouraged to join efforts to provide an optimal person-environment-fit for all of their employees, but with a sensitivity to the increased variability to be expected among older employees.
Abstract: Work-related stress is pervasive in today's society. Its far-reaching effects on worker health, productivity, and organizational commitment have caused legislators and researchers alike to rethink stress prevention strategies that will best serve all systems involved. This article identifies the issues limiting the development of primary stress reduction programs in the workplace and provides insight as to the emerging global legislative initiatives that support this issue.