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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: Low back pain (LPB) is a major health problem among military rotary-wing aircrews worldwide. In order to define the etiology and propose remedies to LBP in helicopter aviators a review and critique of the literature was conducted. In-flight sitting posture and vibration generated by the aircraft were identified as high risk factors for LBP. Consequently, researchers recommended ergonomic modifications to the crew stations. The efficacy of these technical interventions has not been proven. As well, these…design changes are not financially practical. Following an in depth kinesiological analysis of the physical demands of this type of flying, and preliminary experimentation, an alternative aeromedical approach focusing on the aircrew rather than the craft is presented. The authors propose a set of flight-specific exercises that might effectively deal with this problem. A thorough testing of this approach is envisioned.
Keywords: flight posture, corrective and remedial exercise, ergonomics
Abstract: This is a case study comparing the use of two different assessment tools (Rapid Entire Body Assessment versus New Zealand Manual Handling Hazard Control Record) to assess, plan and implement changes in manual handling practices in the supermarket industry. Existing manual handling practices being used within these supermarkets were assessed using each of these tools. The most hazardous tasks were revised to improve work methods and reviewed again using both tools, to determine the usefulness and…effectiveness of these tools. The process generated considerable discussion regarding the benefits and drawbacks of each tool. The usefulness of each tool appears dependant on the reason for assessment and the anticipated outcome. REBA may be more useful if specific ergonomic or biomechanical changes are being implemented to decrease risk of work-related injury (particularly if an objective numeric score is required for re-assessment following modifications, to determine their effectiveness). The New Zealand Code of Practice for Manual Handling 'Hazard Control Record' Risk Score analysis process lacks specificity and objectivity, however it is less reductionistic and takes into account many factors other than biomechanics and ergonomics. It directs the user toward implementing controls, which are thorough, multi-factorial and useful to control hazards relating to several other areas, including task, load, environment, people and management factors.
Abstract: Occupational stress literature emphasizes the importance of assessment and management of work related stress. The recognition of the harmful physical and psychological effects of stress on both individuals and organizations is widely studied in many parts of the world. However, in other regions such research is only at the introductory stages. The present study examines occupational stress of employees in the banking sector. A sample of 60 bank employees at different organizational levels and educational backgrounds…was used. Data collection utilized the Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI). Results of data analysis provided evidence that employees' educational levels affect the degree of stress they experience in various ways. Bank employees cannot afford the time to relax and "wind down" when they are faced with work variety, discrimination, favoritism, delegation and conflicting tasks. The study also shows the degree to which some employees tend to bring work-related problems home (and take family problems to work) depends on their educational background, the strength of the employees' family support, and the amount of time available for them to relax. Finally, the drinking habits (alcohol) of the employees were found to play a significant role in determining the levels of occupational stress.
Keywords: occupational stress, organizational health, employee stress, stress and banking
Abstract: This longitudinal study evaluated the learning and retention of task-specific training during the subjects' classroom performance of a one-person pivot transfer. Twelve subjects were videotaped completing the transfer (pretest). The subjects then participated in a two-hour training session. One week later (posttest 1), and one year later (posttest 2) the subjects were videotaped again. A checklist was used to analyze the videotapes. A one-way ANOVA with repeated measures revealed that there was a statistically…significant difference between the tests (F = 243.73, p-value < 0.0001). A post hoc analysis (Bonferroni procedure) indicated that the posttest 1 scores (mean = 13, SD = 0.40) were significantly higher than the pretest scores (mean = 2.96, SD = 0.39) indicating an improved score on the checklist. There was no significant difference between the scores of posttest 1 and posttest 2 (mean = 12.79, SD = 0.60) indicating that subjects continued to perform the task with proper body mechanics one year post training.
Keywords: body mechanic training, injury prevention, occupational therapy
Abstract: The purpose of this prospective case report was to evaluate the use of a keyboard platform device that uses continuous passive motion (CPM) on vascular flow to the hand for clerical employees who perform daily keyboarding tasks. Subjects were two female volunteers, one symptomatic of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), who were employed in clerical positions and perform daily keyboarding tasks for most of their workday. Data collection consisted of baseline and follow-up measurements at 6 weeks,…including: 1) screening for symptoms based on the Carpal Tunnel Function Disability Form, 2) evaluation using standard physical therapy examination and assessment techniques, including modified Semmes- Weinstein monofilament testing, 3) a typing productivity test, and 4) Doppler ultrasound examination to quantify vascular flow at the wrist. Results revealed that both subjects demonstrated an overall increase in both radial and ulnar blood flow velocity with no decrement in typing productivity. The symptomatic subject also demonstrated an overall improvement of 10 wpm in the typing tests, a decrease in her disability score and symptom severity, and improvement in function. Results suggest that use of CPM as a non-intrusive ergonomic intervention may be used to treat, as well as prevent, carpal tunnel-like symptoms in those who keyboard.
Abstract: This study assessed the item validity of 15 of the physical demands from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT), as evaluated in a new approach to functional capacity evaluation (FCE) for clients with chronic back pain, the Gibson Approach to FCE (GAPP FCE). Fifty-two occupational therapists were sent the specifications of the items in the GAPP FCE procedures and were asked to rate the items in terms of item-objective congruence, relevance and difficulty. A response rate…of 59.2% was obtained. The majority of the therapists agreed that most of the items were congruent with the objectives based on the definition of the physical demands from the DOT. The items evaluating Balancing and Pushing and Pulling had the lowest item-objective congruence. The evaluation of Balancing and the Lifting, Carrying and Pushing and Pulling of loads greater than light-medium weight (10–16 kg) were not considered significantly relevant. Concerns were raised about the difficulty and safety of the evaluation of Lifting, Carrying and Pushing and Pulling with clients with chronic back pain, particularly if the therapist evaluates the manual handling of medium to heavy loads. These results may have implications for other FCEs, particularly those which are based on the DOT, or when assessing clients with chronic back pain.
Abstract: Occupational therapy practitioners offer services to workers in the workplace to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), to help the injured worker restore function, and to recover capacities needed to return to the job. Despite the existence of some evidence about the efficacy of prevention programs, there is uncertainty and even disagreement among health professionals, about the outcome of prevention programs for people with MSDs. It is proposed that principles of motor learning can assist the therapist in…structuring prevention programs to facilitate the workers learning of correct movement patterns. This paper discusses basic concepts of motor learning emphasizing characteristics of the learner, the type of task, the structure of practice and application to prevention programs at work settings. We present a four-stage model for prevention programs based on principles of both motor learning and ergonomics. This model coincides with the broad perspective suggested in current occupational therapy models which focuses on the person, the environment, the occupation and their effects on occupational performance.
Abstract: Injured workers have the right to return to their job if they are able to perform their duties, according to the American with Disabilities Act, 1990. Occupational therapy practitioners employed in work hardening programs, or working as private consultants, have a significant role in assisting employees, employers and human resource personnel in determining "reasonable accommodations" to enable a qualified employee with a physical or mental disability to access the work force. This article discusses the application…of accommodations in two case studies.
Abstract: Successfully documenting the outcomes of assistive technology (AT) interventions in the workplace benefits people with disabilities, service providers and agencies. However, no work related system currently exists that comprehensively collects the data needed to analyze such outcomes. Part of the reason for this absence of an outcome system is that, while the concept is simple, the process is complex and depends on the acquisition of data that represent many outcomes related variables. This…article describes the exploratory work of the NIDRR (National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research) funded ATOMS Project (Assistive Technology Outcomes Measurement System) and its efforts to identify existing data that might be used as the basis for an outcomes measurement system. Sample records from four assistive technology service programs were acquired and evaluated for the data they housed. This study discovered that AT service programs fail to collect consistent or sufficient data for outcomes analysis. However, discussions with AT programs that provided services to State vocational rehabilitation agencies revealed an interesting potential. Assistive technology service data in combination with data collected by State vocational rehabilitation departments might coalesce the needed data. The Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) 911 Report aggregates many variables of outcomes related information including employment status and the success of the vocational rehabilitation investment. This combined database could answer a range of assistive technology outcomes related questions of interest to service providers, people with disabilities, and vocational rehabilitation State agencies. This paper describes the data needed in an outcomes system, reviews the data that appear to be available today related to AT outcomes, and projects how data from two diverse programs might be used together to create a significant outcomes database.
Abstract: The complexity of relationships between variables in a variety of rehabilitation settings can be appropriately addressed by the use of multivariate methods of statistical analysis. The purpose of this article is to describe (a) some basic concepts and principles of multivariate methods as well as (b) common misconceptions in the application of such methods. Specifically, the authors focus on the use of multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) in rehabilitation research and some pitfalls that rehabilitation researchers…face when choosing between MANOVA for a set of outcome variables versus separate analyses of variance (ANOVAs) for each outcome variable. Examples of the use of MANOVA in rehabilitation research, as well as references to other multivariate methods, are also provided.
Keywords: multivariate methods, research design, statistics