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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 lack of vocational rehabilitation in Iceland inspired the Janus Rehabilitation initiative in the year 2000. The team currently consists of two occupational therapists, a social worker, a physiotherapist, a psychologist, and a physician. Janus uses resources from local education establishments and is located at the Reykjavík Technical School. A client-centred approach is used, enabling a flexible rehabilitation timeframe. The aim is to help the client back to employment/education. Advantage is taken of the facilities of…the school where integration between education and rehabilitation takes place. Forty individuals have been admitted, with a mean time from work of 2.9 years, (range: 0–11 years). Seventeen (43%) have returned to employment/education. Twenty-three of those entering the programme are still on invalidity pension. The Canadian Occupational Performance Measurement (COPM) shows improvement in occupational performance and satisfaction. The Icelandic Quality of Life measurement also shows improvement. The results have been promising. However, a larger group is needed in order to draw clear unequivocal conclusions.
Keywords: vocational therapy, vocational training, work rehabilitation, work, education, multidiscipline team work
Abstract: The Chronic Pain Section at Reykjalundur has 33 beds for patients with various chronic pain problems. About 200 patients are treated annually. For 3 years, 158 patients were enrolled in a random study focusing on increasing the patients' functioning and eliminating analgesic drugs through an interdisciplinary rehabilitation program. Patients answered a questionnaire at admission, before discharge from the clinic and about one year after discharge. The follow-up was done with a mailed questionnaire. The focus was…on the patients' functioning rather than absence of pain. The program's duration was 7 weeks. The first 2 weeks were utilized for evaluation, information and education (pain school). Pain relieving drugs were gradually withdrawn but anti-inflammatory drugs were used when indicated. Cognitive behavioral therapy was applied in an increasing number of cases over the 3 year period by specially trained nurses and a psychiatrist. Pain, anxiety and depression were self-evaluated on a numeric rating scale (NRS). About 50% of the patients had a history of pain for more than 5 years. Low back pain was the most common diagnosis (48.1%) and 28.5% had post-traumatic pain. A significant reduction in pain, anxiety and depression was found both at discharge (p < 0.0001) and at follow-up (p < 0.001). Before entering the program, only 18.4% of the patients were able to work whereas 48.1% returned to work after discharge and 59.2% were working at follow-up.
Keywords: chronic pain, interdisciplinary pain management, cognitive behavioral therapy, rehabilitation, return to work
Abstract: This article describes a pilot project in specialized vocational rehabilitation program at Reykjalundur Rehabilitation Center in Iceland. It gives a brief historical overview of the development of the program, describes the theoretical frame used and the way the program is designed. Finally, it discusses the results of the program and ways to improve the program.
Abstract: A pilot-study using the Worker Role Interview (WRI) was conducted to gather information from clients attending a work- rehabilitation program in an Icelandic psychiatric center. The work rehabilitation program traditionally used a performance-capacity-oriented assessment (PCA) to evaluate work readiness. Clients scoring 90% or higher on the PCA were considered able to re-enter the job market. However, scoring over 90% did not result in automatic return to work for the majority of clients. As a result, many…questions were proposed about the effectiveness of the PCA to predict client ability to re-enter the work force. A pilot study using the Worker Role Interview was conducted with an aim to gain insight into what barriers prevented clients from entering the work force. Ten clients scoring 90% or over on the PCA were interviewed using the WRI. Qualitative methods were used to analyze the data. Results from the WRI indicated that clients failed to join the work force due to a number of psychosocial factors, such as lack of personal causation and self-efficacy combined with environmental factors. The WRI provided clients with an opportunity to express their attitudes and opinions towards work. Information gained through the WRI also gave new direction in goal setting for the work rehabilitation program and validated the need to expand occupational therapy services.
Abstract: This article describes the importance of injury prevention in the workplace and the status of this issue in Iceland. Using a theoretical approach, this article examines workers' psychological and physical health, as it is affect by work. The article seeks to answer the question, "What methods are appropriate when health and safety management is of primary importance in the workplace?" Finally, the article will explain the condition of these matters in Iceland, and will also discuss…how one measurement strategy, called "Workplace Analysis", uses performance indicators to demonstrate the effectiveness of health and safety consultations. This tool has been developed by Solarpexus. It is important to analyze the work environment, set goals, and measure results.
Abstract: Great changes have come about in the last decade regarding the organization of work. High technology and the steadily increasing ideology of technocracy has produced a profound effect on the organization of work in some workplaces. This effect has made the psychosocial and physical working environment tougher, especially for women. The results we are presenting here show that when dividing fishing factories into three technological stages; low technology, middle technology and high technology, the job strain…was highest and the decision authority by the employee was lowest in the high technological factories. This even had an impact on health and on the atmosphere at the workplace, where the employees in the high technological factories were more likely to complain about several health problems as well as about low degrees of cheerfulness at the workplace and tiresome jobs. However, these same people were the most positive towards the implementation of the high technology and the new way of organizing their job that the technology introduced.
Keywords: technology, work environment, organization, gender, well being
Abstract: Educational qualifications are reliable predictors of women's self-assessed health. Aims: To study possible inequalities in health among women with different educational backgrounds working in geriatric care and to find groups that might need special public health measures. Methods: In this cross-sectional questionnaire reaching throughout Iceland, the participants were employees in 62 geriatric nursing homes and geriatric hospital wards with 10 or more employees. A total of 1,886 questionnaires were distributed. The 84-item questionnaire included…questions on demographic and work-related factors, health and life style. Age-adjusted odds ratios (OR) were calculated for work-related psychosocial, physical and health factors, and confidence intervals were set at 95% (95% CI). Registered nurses were taken as a reference category. Results: The response rate was 80%. Registered nurses accounted for 16%, practical nurses 21%, unskilled attendants 44%, cleaning personnel 8% and others 12%. The practical nurses, unskilled attendants and cleaning personnel assessed work as more physically difficult, and more monotonous both physically and mentally, than did the registered nurses, who enjoyed more physical and mental well-being than the others. However, the registered nurses visited doctors as often as the other groups did. Conclusions: Personnel groups in geriatric care have different physical and psychosocial workloads. The results provide opportunities to guide public health measures for people employed in geriatric care and possibly in other settings, such as hospitals and health care institutions.
Keywords: women, nurses, practical nurses, unskilled, geriatric care, education
Abstract: The objective of the present study was to explore the connection between the organization of work in geriatric care and factors which have been connected to job stress and burnout, i.e. exhaustion, mental workload, job satisfaction and communication. We also analyzed how these factors were related to employee visits to doctors during the previous 12 months due to various medical conditions. The study was a cross-sectional questionnaire distributed to all employees within nursing homes and geriatric…hospital wards with 10 employees or more throughout Iceland. The total response rate was 80%. The majority of respondents, or 96%, were women (n = 1432), and the results are based on their answers. Our data show that there is a high correlation between mental exhaustion and the unsatisfactory organization of work. Mental exhaustion upon completing work shifts was more closely connected to the health outcomes studied than were the other work-related factors studied. This is especially true for chronic fatigue, depression and sleeping disorders. It is important that employers and managers notice the mismatches between work and workers that this study manifests. Employers and managers must also consider the organizational factors that are influential.
Abstract: This article describes research on fishermen's health and sleeping habits in Iceland. It presents the first findings of the project that were presented in October 2002 at a conference that was organized during Seamen Safety Week in Iceland. It covers physical and mental stress symptoms, sleep disturbance, and obesity, as well as fishermen's own reaction to their health and well-being. Take notice that the findings that are presented in this article can be found in a…report presented in August, when the whole study will be finished. Finally, it is concluded how successful the response has been and how the project can be used positively with other studies. It is also noted that, in fact, these findings will be used for further studies linked to safety on board.
Abstract: Aims: The aim was to describe the mortality pattern among unskilled female industrial workers with the hypothesis that they were disadvantaged compared to other women and that smoking-related causes of death were in excess among them. Methods: The study group comprised 13,349 women who had contributed at any time to a pension fund for unskilled industrial workers in Reykjavik during the time period 1970–1995. The follow-up was from 1975 to 1995. The death rate of…the study group was compared to that of women in the general population during the time period 1981–1995. The study group was studied with regard to selected causes of death, by age at first entrance into the pension fund, different lag-time, and by employment-time. Results: Results showed an excess of external causes but a deficit of most other causes of death, among those smoking related diseases. The high mortality by external causes was consistent in all the analyses. Standardised mortality ratio (SMR) for external causes in the total group was 1.79 (95% CI 1.45–2.19), for lung cancer 1.04 (95% CI 0.80–1.34) and for ischemic heart disease 0.77 (95% CI 0.65–0.91). Mortality was highest among those who started to pay in the pension fund at younger ages. Conclusions: The notable excess of external causes in the group needs further exploration. The results did not confirm the hypothesis that smoking-related causes of death were in excess in the group. Methodological problems related to studies on women workers are discussed.
Keywords: mortality, women, female industrial workers, social groups