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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: Rehabilitation models of practice have emerged that offer persons' with disabilities opportunities to have an active role in the work entry or re(entry) process. Despite the growth and interest in empowering client involvement in practice, consumer views on the determinants of participation are not fully understood. Thus, consumer feedback on using a self-directed approach to employment rehabilitation was elicited to identify factors integral to their participation in the process. Focus groups were conducted with 35…adult consumers with developmental, mental health, physical and learning disabilities to gain insights into their involvement in a participatory approach to find employment. Content analysis of data revealed barriers and facilitators, which hindered or enabled consumer involvement in the vocational service process. This article discusses the importance of considering issues across the rehabilitation system, practice and lived contexts when implementing participatory approaches in vocational rehabilitation settings.
Keywords: consumer participation, consumer choice and control, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: The study examines differences in self-rated health and perceived quality of life (QoL) among young working people according to occupation and education level. Subjects were extracted from a cross-sectional data set, covering questionnaire responses of people aged 20–74 years from the Swedish region of Östergötland, and addressing individual environmental and health conditions. The emphasis was on males and females in paid employment aged 20–34 (n = 863). Differences in self-rated health items…and in perceived QoL were subjected to a series of t-tests. Two measures of individual socioeconomic position were considered – occupation and education. No education-based differences were found, and there were few differences based on occupation. Among males, manual workers reported significantly higher scores with regard to pain and physical function than did non-manual workers. Male and female manual workers scored significantly lower on current perceived QoL than non-manual workers. In the case of females, the differences between manual and non-manual workers also applied to former perceived QoL. Yet, after applying the Bonferroni correction, none of the differences observed remained significant. In line with some earlier studies, it appears that – among young working adults – the manners in which health status and QoL are perceived are not strongly conditional on socioeconomic position.
Keywords: health inequalities, health status, education, gender differences, ill-health
Abstract: At 5:30 p.m. on May 8, 2003, 1,200 employees were at work at the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, General Motors Production Plant when it was hit by an F4 tornado. Although the plant sustained extensive structural damage none of the employees were injured. The plant's commitment to emergency response planning, the routine practice of those plans through drills, tests, and education, and the smooth implementation of the plan at the appropriate time helped prevent injury and potential…loss of life. This case study provides an example of effective injury prevention.
Abstract: The perceptions of vocational services and the impact of employment among 25 individuals with HIV/AIDS diagnoses were explored through a qualitative study. Participants who ranged in age from 22 to 58, represented diverse ethnic backgrounds and were at various stages of the employment process. The key themes that emerged from the data fell into three main areas: (a) personal impact of vocational services, (b) programmatic qualities of vocational services, and (c) impact of employment. Factors that…influenced each of these themes and the implications for rehabilitation counselors are discussed.
Abstract: The purpose of this evidence-based study is to investigate the impact of a multi-component intervention on health behavior change among office/computer workers in preventing repetitive strain injuries. Forty office workers employed in an administrative office in Michigan participated in this project. The subjects completed a comprehensive questionnaire at three different times in 1994 and 1995. The intervention took place between time 2 and time 3 and included posters, e-mail tips, mini-workshops, and activities of…a Wellness Ergonomic Team. A theoretical model was tested to identify factors influencing healthy behaviors. Study findings revealed positive behavior change for 62% of the participants. The factors most strongly related to health behavior change appear to be self-efficacy, the intention to change one's behavior, and perceived health status. Better understanding of health behavior change coupled with ergonomic modifications is a significant step toward the prevention of repetitive strain injuries resulting from computer use.
Abstract: This study evaluates the psychometric properties of an industry-based employee measure of employer responses to injuries (i.e., organizational support and return-to-work policies) and explores the relationship of these variables to post-injury job satisfaction. Survey data were collected from 1438 employees with work-related injuries in 13 construction companies and 13 transportation companies. Factor analyses supported the two-factor structure of the scale, and both organizational support and return-to-work policies were independently associated with…post-injury job satisfaction. The results suggest a need for understanding organizational responses to injuries, employee perceptions of injury response, and the impact of both on organizational outcomes.
Abstract: Background and Goals: Despite the institution of explicit safety practices in construction, there continue to be exceedingly high rates of morbidity and mortality from work-related injury. This study's purpose was to identify, compare and contrast views of construction managers from large and small firms regarding construction safety practices. A complementary analysis was conducted with construction workers. Methods: A semi-structured interview guide was used to elicit information from construction managers (n = 22) in a series…of focus groups. Questions were designed to obtain information on direct safety practices and indirect practices such as communication style, attitude, expectations, and unspoken messages. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: Managers identified a broad commitment to safety, worker training, a changing workplace culture, and uniform enforcement as key constructs in maintaining safe worksites. Findings indicate that successful managers need to be involved, principled, flexible, and innovative. Best practices, as well as unsuccessful injury prevention programs, were discussed in detail. Obstacles to consistent safety practice include poor training, production schedules and financial constraints. Conclusions: Construction managers play a pivotal role in the definition and implementation of safety practices in the workplace. In order to succeed in this role, they require a wide variety of management skills, upper management support, and tools that will help them instill and maintain a positive safety culture. Developing and expanding management skills of construction managers may assist them in dealing with the complexity of the construction work environment, as well as providing them with the tools necessary to decrease work-related injuries.
Keywords: construction industry, safety and health, management practices, qualitative methodology
Abstract: Background and Goals: The purpose of this study was to identify perceptions of management safety practices from the viewpoint of union and nonunion construction workers. A complementary investigation was conducted with construction managers. Methods: A semi-structured interview guide was used to elicit information from 64 workers (95% male) in ten focus groups. Questions were designed to elicit information about management practices that facilitate or discourage safe working conditions, including communication style, attitude,…expectations, and unspoken messages. Data were analyzed using thematic content analysis. Results: Workers identified management commitment to safety, concern for workers, congruence between spoken messages and practice, professionalism, and communication skills as key qualities in successful managers. Workers provided vivid examples of excellent and poor management strategies. Conclusions: Construction managers play a pivotal role in the definition and implementation of safety practices in the workplace and workers look to them for guidance and modeling. Given the high rates of injury in construction, deeply imbedded protective policies that rely on input from a broad range of stakeholders, including construction workers, should be developed.
Keywords: construction industry, construction workers, safety and health, safety management practices, qualitative methodology
Abstract: Research shows that participation in employment contributes to life satisfaction for persons with disabilities . Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sought to prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities in the workplace, however, the ADA's effectiveness remains controversial. This research utilizes data from the disability supplement of the 2000 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to examine the impact of disability status on predicting employment status and income. Confounding variables…such as gender, age, educational level, race and marital/parental status are examined regarding their influence on results. Results from analysis utilizing zero-order correlation, linear and logistic regression analysis techniques revealed that disability status has a significant predictive effect on inability to work. Furthermore, results continue to show that despite legislation, the higher the level of disability, the lower the employment status (those employed for wages) and income. Finally, disability status, coupled with being female or decreased educational level, consistently shows significance in predicting lower employment status and income than men or non-minorities with disabilities. Future research opportunities and policy implications are discussed with regard to the results presented.
Abstract: The researchers investigated employers' experiences with individuals with a mental illness and in their workplaces. Seventy-two business owners or human resource managers were interviewed. Most knew the prospective employee's health background prior to deciding to employ them. The majority of the reported experiences with employed individuals were very positive. Key strategies the employers or managers reported using to support employees were: to create trustworthy relationships, to work through issues and to seek…external support.