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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: Technology change, rising international trade and investment, and increased competition are changing the organization, distribution and nature of work in industrialized countries. To enhance productivity, employers are striving to increase innovation while minimizing costs. This is leading to an intensification of work demands on core employees and the outsourcing or casualization of more marginal tasks, often to contingent workers. The two prevailing models of work and health – demand-control and effort-reward imbalance…– may not capture the full range of experiences of workers in today's increasingly flexible and competitive economies. To explore this proposition, we conducted a secondary qualitative analysis of interviews with 120 American workers . Our analysis identifies aspects of work affecting the quality of workers' experiences that are largely overlooked by popular work-health models: the nature of social interactions with customers and clients; workers' belief in, and perception of, the importance of the product of their work. We suggest that the quality of work experiences is partly determined by the objective characteristics of the work environment, but also by the fit of the work environment with the worker's needs, interests, desires and personality, something not adequately captured in current models.
Keywords: qualitative research, job strain, quality of work, workers, United States
Abstract: A detailed chronology of a unique response to organizational change is explored and discussed through the example of the Chaplaincy Staff Support Service at Hamilton Health Sciences. Highlighted are the corporate and staff benefits of using chaplains' skills, training and existing roles in hospital life. A summary of the specific methodologies are provided to clarify the theoretical discussion. It is concluded that this is a fiscally efficient means of supporting staff to live out the highest…organizational principles in difficult times.
Keywords: chaplaincy services, hospital, hospital restructuring, spirituality, health personnel, organizational objectives, caregivers, staff support
Abstract: This paper addresses the particular experience of negotiating, creating and operationalizing streamlined processes for a specialized consultation team, within a multi-site academic health science complex, for determining the rehabilitation needs and appropriate program for patients who had experienced surgery for a fractured hip. Background information concerning the main study is provided with the focus of analysis and discussion being upon the processes and outcomes of changing the way work had been undertaken over…many years. It also addresses the complexity of attempting to encourage ongoing reflection related to roles and functions within a multi-disciplinary health care team.
Abstract: The health, well-being and productivity of workers and employers in today's society is becoming increasingly important. The social, emotional and economic costs of injury and illness are such that governments throughout the world are attempting to implement policies and practices to contain these costs. One response in this area is Disability Management (DM). DM focuses on the management of employees with work injuries or illnesses in the workplace rather than offsite in rehabilitation centres. Regional interest…in the DM approach has now gained momentum in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific. This article briefly reviews two studies that were conducted in Australia and Canada (results have or are being published elsewhere). Although the two studies were not designed for comparison purposes they provide interesting and useful information about the similarities and differences in the practice of DM in Australia and Canada. Findings are compared in terms of five primary principles of DM and it is argued that it is important to understand the ecological contexts in which DM occurs as well as share trans-national research in this area to help inform policy and practice.
Keywords: disability management, integrated return to work programs, injury management, workplace accommodation
Abstract: Objectives: Working under frequent deadlines was previously found to be associated with upper limb work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) in newspaper workers. Further investigation was required so that concrete recommendations for change could be offered to the workplace parties (labour and management of a large metropolitan newspaper). Study design: The assessment was based on three methods. A questionnaire was used to clarify time-related aspects of work on deadlines for a larger group of workers. Experience sampling…was used to document temporal variation in various aspects of physical and psychological demands over work shifts and deadline cycles. Focus groups were also conducted. Results: Differences were found between the "High" and "Low" deadline groups: Those working with frequent deadlines more frequently were required: to work together with others, to perform tasks on a specific schedule and specific order, to work at a fast paced, to perceive their work as hectic and "hard". Experience sampling showed differential trends in workload across daily, weekly, and no deadline days. The lack of breaks for extended periods of time leading up to a deadline was noticeable. The focus groups were useful in highlighting issues not addressed by the other two methods and to understand the feasibility of various possible interventions. Conclusions: The integration of results from all methods lead to recommendations for issues upon which to focus prevention related activities where deadlines are present: delays in work flow from others, interruptions from technology related problems, excessive work, insufficient staff/insufficient time, extra/unexpected work, compromising of work quality for speed, and lack of time for breaks.
Abstract: Functional capacity evaluations in the post-offer phase of employment has the capacity to minimize work related injuries and promote wellness on the worksite. This paper includes a discussion of the value of post-offer evaluations and possible assessment options. To investigate the feasibility of administering post-offer evaluations, a case study was initiated. The Physical Work Performance Evaluation (PWPE) was administered to a new employee, VA, who was employed for the task of kneading dough, at a major…food company. When compared to detailed work demands, there was no match between the job demands, and the client's capability in two sub-tests: lift from waist to eye level and trunk rotation. Based upon findings, recommendations for an initial graded work schedule, basic strengthening exercises, and modifications of the job site and task were made to the employer. The project was initiated with the hope of raising employee's and employer's awareness of workers health issues in the post-offer phase as it express itself in post-offer evaluation that aims to prevent musculoskeletal problems. This article aims to expand occupational therapists' awareness to the potential benefits of such a process.
Abstract: Until recently, little was documented about how functional capacity evaluations (FCEs) are used by employers and workers' compensation organizations. Such information was one focus of a comprehensive research study on FCEs carried out in southern Ontario, Canada, which involved representatives from the full range of groups involved in FCEs: referral sources, assessors, return-to-work specialists, third party payers and injured workers . This paper shares findings from a cohort of injured workers undergoing FCEs,…and explored how their FCE results were perceived and utilized by those receiving the reports. Based on study findings, we provide recommendations as to how FCEs should be requested, undertaken, reported and particularly applied to reduce work disability among injured workers.
Keywords: work capacity evaluation, job re-entry, worker's compensation, occupational health services, occupational injury
Abstract: This reflective narrative is intended as a "Letter to the Editor" of sorts, to highlight my personal and professional growth in the role of mission leader for a large academic health centre in South Western Ontario, Canada. This story takes the reader through my lived experience, my beliefs and views of the role of mission leader, against a backdrop of the work of Mary Kathryn Grant, a pioneer in this area of mission and leadership.