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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: This paper contributes to the understanding of the factors that are significant for returning to work, and identifies factors that might be used early on in a period of sick leave to discern whether people are likely to work again. In the design, the multivariate Partial Least Squares (PLS) of Latent Structures method was used to analyse information from a questionnaire containing socio-demographic items, and information on symptoms, consequences on daily life, expectations and psychosocial factors.…Data about the incidence of sickness over a four-year period was included. 121 adults aged 18–64 years on sick leave participated, irrespective of their diagnoses. A reliable prediction of a return to work required the combination of many factors: individual psychosocial instruments are not useful when considered in isolation. The strongest predictive factors for a return to work concern the individuals' expectations, the number of days of sick leave taken in the past, somatic disorders, and a high level of life satisfaction and sense of coherence. Many factors influence the outcome for people on sick leave: PLS analysis demonstrated that a multivariate approach using this method could predict the long-term outcome early on in a period of sick leave.
Keywords: Sick leave, return to work, prediction, psychosocial factors, belief, self-esteem, symptoms and multivariate analysis
Abstract: Research shows that there are often problems with cooperation between rehabilitation professionals within vocational rehabilitation. The aim of this study was to describe employers' experiences of how cooperation between different rehabilitation professionals can be improved in a vocational rehabilitation planning process. Ten employers who had sent their employees to vocational rehabilitation at a rehabilitation centre in the north of Sweden during 2000 and 2001 participated in the study. Qualitative interviews were performed…and analysed by thematic content analysis. The employers' cooperation with clients could be improved by a focus on clients' needs and participation in the rehabilitation process. The employers cooperation with Social Insurance companies could be improved by, 1) early prevention and intervention, 2) knowledge of each other's roles, responsibilities and opportunities and 3) priority making. The employers' cooperation with rehabilitation professionals could be improved by, 1) early identification of rehabilitation needs and goals and early rehabilitation and, 2) increased focus on own responsibilities from each part in the process.
Keywords: Employer, cooperation, client, social insurance officers, rehabilitation professionals, rehabilitation
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: Impact loading is a major factor in the high prevalence of musculoskeletal injuries among military personnel during operational tasks. One of the therapeutic purposes of a pedorthic approach is to attenuate impact load through footwear and supportive device cushioning. The following research pilot project attempts to investigate this relationship. Vertical acceleration was collected at the fourth lumbar level in 30 members of the Canadian Forces (CF) during two ladder descents on a CF warship. Body weight,…time of descent, and a description of footwear and any additional supportive appliances were also collected. None of the evaluated variables were significantly different between members wearing standard issue footwear and medically prescribed footwear and supportive devices. Although the results of this research pilot must be viewed with caution, the preliminary findings of this pilot tends to suggest that the current pedorthic practices may not effectively reduce peak impact forces at the fourth lumbar level of the spine among CF personnel during a selected naval activity.
Abstract: Objectives: This study investigated the effects of pre-employment physical ability screening using isokinetic dynamometry in injury development, specific to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) of the knees, shoulders and back among workers in physically demanding jobs. Methods: New hires (n=503) from a large US employer's 105 industrial yards were screened to match the physical demands of their prospective jobs and tracked for up to 33 months. Results were compared to a control group of 1423 workers.…Results: There were significant reductions in the frequency and severity of musculoskeletal disorder injuries in the screened employee population. Non-screened applicants were 2.38 times more likely to experience a MSD-related overexertion injury specific to the knees, shoulders and back than screened hires (OR=2.3759; p=0.0001), and incurred 4.33 times higher cost of claims (p=0.0003). Covariates of age, pay type, race and job classification were markedly different between screened and unscreened hires. Among the screened cohort, only the more physically demanding job classifications were significant with field material handlers 7.1 times more likely to experience a non-MSD than less physically demanding workers (OR=7.1036; p=0.0063). Conclusions: Objective isokinetic pre-employment screening may significantly reduce injuries in physically demanding jobs. Employees having been effectively matched to the physical demands of their jobs may be at significantly lesser risk of injury and disability from both musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal disorders.