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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: Medical treatment of compensated work-related conditions has two objectives-improve injured workers' health status and allow safe and sustained return to work (RTW). Theoretically, the choice of treatment method should be based primarily on these objectives. Surgical treatment of work-related carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) provides an opportunity to evaluate whether this occurs. The traditional method of open release has been complemented by an endoscopic procedure, particularly useful in work-related cases due to the anticipated…benefit of earlier RTW. The objective of this study was to investigate the differences in surgical treatment for work-related CTS across eight US workers' compensation (WC) jurisdictions, and the factors associated with these differences. From all WC claims reported to a single insurer during the 1995–1999 period, we identified individuals with a one or two surgical procedures for work-related CTS. Among selected individuals (n=4,421), about 20% were treated using the endoscopic procedure; this percentage had a ten-fold variation across the eight jurisdictions. However, utilization of endoscopic release did not increase during the study period, despite reports of better RTW outcomes. The highly jurisdictional nature of the US WC system, with significant differences in reimbursement levels for endoscopic procedures, and geographical differences in medical training were among the potential contributors to the observed variation in utilization.
Keywords: Carpal tunnel, endoscopic release, utilization of medical care, workers' compensation, return to work
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact ergonomics has had on the occurrence of musculoskeletal symptoms and injuries among child care workers in Wisconsin using a Classroom and Work Methods Survey developed for this investigation. Information on perceived need for and knowledge of ergonomic interventions, the extent to which ergonomic interventions had been introduced to child care settings, and barriers to implementation of ergonomic recommendations was gathered. Two hundred and fifty-eight respondents completed…the survey. The majority of respondents was aware of most (18 of 20) of the recommended ergonomic interventions for child care centers and did not perceive a need to make ergonomic changes. Although the majority of respondents had implemented 15 out of the 20 recommendations, they were currently experiencing musculoskeletal pain while performing their jobs. The results of this study highlight the need for further analysis of specific child care tasks and identification of more effective methods to reduce the risk for musculoskeletal pain and injuries.
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe adolescents' low back pain, investigate its prevalence and explore its associations with backpack load, time spent carrying loads, time sitting, and time playing sports, to determine whether relationships exist among these variables. Method: One hundred urban middle school students in Manchester, New Hampshire completed a questionnaire (55% response rate). Participants were between 13–14 years old. Weights of students, loaded backpacks, backpack…contents, and students' heights were measured separately. Results: Eighty-nine percent of the participants wore the two-straps backpack. Over eighty percent of them preferred to carry the load over two shoulders. The average load weighed 4.9 kg (approximating 9.6% of the participants' body weight). There was a significant association found between backpack carrying time and adolescent low back pain. Conclusion: Daily backpack carrying is a frequent cause of musculoskeletal discomfort for adolescents. The association between backpack carrying time and low back pain may provide the impetus for parents, teachers, and school administrators to decrease the prolonged carrying of backpacks. Further investigations should be conducted to evaluate the intervention effectiveness after implementation of controls.
Abstract: Pre-employment assessments must accurately simulate job tasks and demands and select appropriate personnel to be considered effective. This study focussed on the perception of NSW fire-fighters in relation to the validity of the NSW Fire Brigade's pre-employment assessment, the Physical Aptitude Test. A qualitative method was used to gain a precise understanding of fire fighters' opinions of the accuracy of the Physical Aptitude Test. Information letters and consent forms were sent to an urban fire station…with interested participants replying via the university. Six participants, who met the inclusion criteria were randomly selected for the study and in-depth, ethnographic, semi-structured interviews were conducted. The fire fighters believed in order for the Physical Aptitude Test to accurately simulate job demands and select the most capable fire fighters', it needed to be more physically demanding. However, participants believed that the "work-simulating" nature of the Physical Aptitude Test provided an accurate indication of the job tasks.
Abstract: This study identifies and describes questionnaires that measure empowerment in working life. Theoretical bases and empirical examination of the questionnaires are also reported. Nine questionnaires emerged from a database search including AMED, CINAHL, ERIC, MEDLINE and PSYCINFO. The main target groups were employees in general. Most authors share the same theoretical basis. Most of the questionnaires focus on intra- individual issues, while a smaller number deal with the interaction between individual and organization.…Control and competence are frequently used dimensions. Cronbach's alpha for complete questionnaires ranged between 0.62 and 0.96. No comparisons with outcome of health were reported. Spreitzer's questionnaire  has undergone the most comprehensive investigation. Research is required to achieve better understanding of the interplay between conditions at work and empowerment and health.
Keywords: Empowerment, measurement, working life, workplace health promotion, health promotion
Abstract: This study analysed self-assessed quality of life (QoL), using a QoL questionnaire (Hörnquist's QLcs) covering the life spheres, somatic health, mental well-being, cognitive ability, social and family life, activity, financial situation, meaning in life and a global score "entire life", in 487 unemployed subjects and 2917 employed subjects aged 25–64, in a population-based cross-sectional study in northern Sweden. In line with previous findings, results showed that unemployed people exhibited poorer QoL. Unemployed…women scored higher in existential life domains than unemployed men did. Unemployed men were worst off in terms of general life situation. Employed respondents benefited in QoL by a university/college education, while unemployed respondents with a university/college education did not. Close social relations and money reserve were associated with higher QoL generally. It was concluded that further research is needed to differentiate various aspects of QoL and unemployment, and to compare with other samples.
Abstract: This study aimed to determine the demographic and work-related factors that contributed to the filing of a workers' compensation claim for psychological injury. Four groups of employees were compared: those who filed a workers' compensation claim, those who sought psychological treatment for occupational stress but did not file a workers' compensation claim, those who experienced elevated stress levels but did not seek help or lodge a claim, and those who experienced stressful events at work but…did not develop symptomatology. The results indicated few variables that could adequately explain why some stressed employees opted for a workers' compensation claim. The implications of these results are discussed.
Keywords: Work stress, sex differences, age differences
Abstract: Using a longitudinal dataset which followed 2195 individuals employed in 3379 separate job placements over a four-year period, this paper explores movement between the employment supports, [Transitional (TE), Supported (SE), and Independent Employment (IE)], offered by clubhouses. Sixty-four percent of employed members held only one job (N=1395) and 36% held multiple jobs during the study (N=791). Patterns of movement were consistent for transitions between the first and second job and subsequent transitions.…Forty-six percent of individuals holding multiple jobs moved from one employment type to another. When movement occurred clubhouse members were significantly more likely to move from employment types offering more supports to those that offer less supports.
Abstract: The organizational responses of employers to work-related injuries is one of several significant influences on return-to-work outcomes. Thus, understanding the factors that lead to better or worse organizational responses to work injuries may ultimately help to improve success in this area. The purpose of this study was to systematically explore factors that might influence the organizational responses of employers to injured workers, based on employee perceptions. Cross-sectional survey data were collected from 2,943…subjects with work-related injuries which had occurred less than eight weeks prior to survey completion. Measured variables included pre-injury demographic and job factors, injury circumstances, and a measure of post-injury events that comprised the organizational response. Multivariate linear regression results show that age, gender, job dissatisfaction before injury, prior difficulty performing job tasks, injury severity, back injury and lost time were all associated with negative organizational responses, suggesting potential opportunities for intervention.