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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 occupational adaptation practice model guided the search for and the analysis of the literature on the older worker. The purpose of this literature review was to: identify the occupational challenges that older workers experience, determine ways in which the occupational therapist can promote the occupational adaptation of older workers, and articulate the research and policy changes implied in the model related to health and improved productivity. The analysis of the worker's personal characteristics, work…tasks, and environments highlighted the types of occupational challenges that may overwhelm the older worker's adaptive capacity. Straining adaptive capacity of the older worker leads to degradation in levels of mastery. The occupational therapist and others could assist the older worker to achieve relative mastery in response to occupational challenges through ergonomic solutions, training, assistive devices, management policy, and health promotion. Combined efforts of the employer, of the occupational therapist, and of the older work to capitalize on the older worker's years of experience, existing skills, and knowledge facilitates higher job satisfaction, better performance, and an increased sense of well-being in the older worker.
Abstract: The average age of nurses is projected to be 50 years in 2010 . Because nurses are older, a work injury prevention program should change how nurses lift patients. The purpose of this evidence-based practice improvement project was to examine a new lifting intervention. Method: An evidence-based process was used to implement an effective lifting intervention, including a back school, a lift team, and mechanical lifting equipment, on the orthopedic and neurology units in a Minnesota…hospital. A two-week pilot determined if enough work would be generated to justify hiring a permanent lift team. Then the entire lifting intervention was studied on the two units. Results: The injuries for the two units decreased from 21 to 9 injuries, while the salary and work replacement costs were $48,220 and $2,560 in 2001 and 2002, respectively. The lift team averaged 80 lifts per day and 95% of the nursing staff attended the back school. Conclusion: The lift team and new mechanical lifting equipment were successfully disseminated resulting in significant reductions in costs. Suggested improvements include additional supervision and lift team scheduling changes, regular staff meetings, and ongoing education.
Abstract: Objective: The objective of this study was to describe the risks for the development of MSDs in older academics. Method: Four older academics needed modification of their offices to reduce symptoms of MSDs. In order to improve their occupational performance, data were gathered through interviews and observations, facilitating selection of interventions responsive to their unique client factors, physical contexts, and the organizational environment. Results: Older academics did not perceive risks for the development…of MSDs in work that was sedentary. Their routines included few health and wellness behaviors in a culture rewarding excessive work, facilitating commitment to the organization, and understating the importance of health and wellness to the academic community. Conclusions: Occupational therapists must reframe sedentary work as physically demanding and potentially risky for the development of MSDs, and must recognize the organizational influences on the work of academics. Prolonging work life might likely result from modifications in the physical context and from the academic adopting healthy lifestyle routines within multiple environments.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to measure role strain in older adult workers who were also caregivers of frail elders according to Komarovsky's role strain theory, and to determine whether different patterns of role strain exist for male worker-caregivers than females. Method: Researchers developed the Job-Caregiver Role Strain Scale Survey, which was adapted from a survey that measured role strain in working parents and spouses. Surveys were distributed to 11 male and 34 female older…workers who were also caregivers. Results: A factor analysis was completed, which isolated four factors of role strain. Researchers named the factors time management and arrangements, health and competing role demands, low rewards, and reactions to perceptions. Role strain in older adult worker-caregivers is complex and involves multiple variables. A discriminant function analysis predicted differences in the way older male and female worker-caregivers perceived role strain. Use of role strain theory can assist employers and occupational therapists in developing and maintaining work environments that support not only the older employee's work performance, but participation in the role of elder caregiver as well.
Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this study was to improve the standardization of the current protocol for measuring hand volume with the commercial volumeter. Method: A repeated-measures design was used to determine test-retest reliability of the new protocol of measuring hand volume with the commercial volumeter. The new protocol used a height-adjustable table and external trunk support of the participant in order to maintain consistency of web-space pressure between the first and second measurement. A…1 ml micropipette was used to obtain a more accurate volume reading. An intraclass correlation (2,1), repeated measures ANOVA, and standard error of measurement were used to determine the results of this study. Results: This study confirmed the test-retest reliability of the commercial volumeter and decreased the standard error of measurement to 3~ml as opposed to the current standard of 10 ml. Conclusion: Clinically, this study is significant in that occupational and physical therapists can detect more subtle change in hand volume.
Keywords: hand volume, edema, volumetric measurement
Abstract: Few studies have examined the relationship between changes in hand volume and typing. Volumetric evaluation documents the presence of an inflammatory response to activity. Method: To study this relationship, researchers used a convenience sample of 31 participants who were aged 45 and older and worked full time where they typed at least one hour per day. Volumetric measurements were taken before a 15-minute typing activity, immediately after and 10 minutes after typing. Before typing, ergonomic…adjustments were made to computer workstations, when necessary. Participants typed using an advanced speed test of the Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing program, which calculated adjusted words per minute. Results: The data showed no significant (F = 0.321, p > 0.05) change in hand volume resulting from the typing activity. Conclusion: The amount of exercise provided in this study, a fifteen minute typing activity, did not result in changed hand volume.
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to describe the collaboration among occupational therapy graduate students, faculty, and managers of an industrial organization in developing safety-training materials for workers. Method: Three managers from an industrial organization sought collaboration from the School of Occupational Therapy. The occupational therapy faculty developed fieldwork experiences and implemented a qualitative research study where data were gathered through interviews, observations, key events, artifacts, and immersion in the field. Results:…Changing workers' behaviors required influence from an organizational level, including manager support and role modeling, safety committee involvement, and a strong presence of occupational therapy in the organizational environment. Conclusion: Occupational therapists who provide safety training in industrial settings must become partners with workers and managers, and immerse themselves in the organization to plan strategies that compliment the culture. Occupational therapists' interventions for safety training should match the needs and values of the managers.
Abstract: This prospective study determined the extent to which demographic factors, pain levels, psychological factors, and readiness to change predicted functional outcomes in patients with chronic pain. Method: Participants were 26 patients referred for evaluation to a multidisciplinary pain management program. The Pain Disability Index (PDI), Pain Patient Profile® (P-3), and Pain Stages of Change Questionnaire (PSOCQ) measured function, psychological factors and readiness to change respectively. Patients completed the battery of tests…upon initial evaluation and 3 months into treatment. Results: A regression analysis using only initial assessment measures as predictors of functional outcome indicated a 2-variable prediction model (work status and contemplation) that accounted for 49% of the variance in 3-month functional outcome. Regression analysis using data at initial and follow-up assessment found that work status, contemplation, and best and worst pain at follow-up predicted 84.4% of the variance in 3-month functional outcome. Conclusion: These findings provide good models for prediction of 3-month functional outcome based on demographic, psychological, and readiness to change indicators.
Keywords: pain management, readiness to change, functional outcome
Abstract: Objective: Older musicians may develop occupational performance problems resulting from age-related changes and features unique to their occupation. The purpose of this study was to describe the impact of the aging process on an older professional musician. Method: A phenomenological approach was used to study the effects of the aging process on a 71 year old, semi-retired, part-time paid jazz musician. Data were gathered through interviews and observations of performance environments, and analyzed using…a grounded hermeneutic approach. An expert panel facilitated theme development. Results: The musician's experiences related to changes in an ability to perform his daily occupations, including music; his response to the external changes in the playing environment and in his relationships with others; and the way in which he has coped with these changes. Conclusion: Occupational therapists who provide intervention for older musicians must implement a client centered approach to care, which provides strategies the musician can use to overcome the challenges related to aging in order to continue professional performance.