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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: The effects of a workplace design and training intervention and the relationships between perceived satisfaction of office workplace design factors (layout and storage) and work performance measures (individual performance, group collaboration and effectiveness) were studied with 120 office workers using the Workplace Environment Questionnaire. Further, we examined whether environmental control had a direct effect on work performance, and then explored whether environmental control mediated or moderated the relationship between workplace design factors…and work performance. Results showed a significant, positive impact of the intervention on environmental satisfaction for workstation layout. Satisfaction with workstation layout had a significant relationship with individual performance, group collaboration and effectiveness; and satisfaction with workstation storage had a significant relationship with individual performance and group collaboration. Environmental control had a direct impact on individual performance and group collaboration; whereas, the mediating and moderating effects of environmental control on the relationship between workplace design factors and outcome variables were not significant.
Keywords: Office ergonomics intervention, training, environmental control
Abstract: The workplace is increasingly serving as an important context for the development of work behaviors, interpersonal skills, and values for high school students. A lack of qualitative studies regarding the meaning of the subjective aspects of work for teens is evident. The purpose of this research study was to understand the meaning of work for two high school seniors through qualitative inquiry. The researchers interviewed two participants in a conference room to maintain privacy. Interviews were…audio taped, transcribed verbatim, and returned to the interviewees for member check. The researchers analyzed transcriptions, coded for identification of themes, and shared them with the participants to ensure accuracy. The meaning of work for both participants included themes of gaining financial freedom, learning job-specific skills, learning the general work skill of time management, sacrificing and rearranging leisure time spent with friends and family, and helping to define choices related to future work and co-workers. The meaning of work for the participant who owned his own business included additional themes of improving interpersonal communication, marketing, budgeting, taking initiative and responsibility, prioritizing, organizing, and decision-making, all required to develop and expand a successful business.
Abstract: The methods for measuring and evaluating human movement have advanced rapidly over the past 2 decades. The use of smaller, lighter, more powerful personal computers, digital video cameras and miniature, portable accelerometers have allowed the health professional, engineer, sports coach and scientist to very precisely record and quantify human movements on the sports field, in the business office, industrial setting and in the home. Most human motion analysis systems have evolved to meet the particular needs…of the user. One such system that has developed over the past ten years in the Sport Science Laboratory at Dalhousie University is the Padlog series of accelerometer systems. This paper will discuss the development the Padlog systems at Dalhousie.
Keywords: Portable accelerometer, human performance, technology
Abstract: This study includes women and men born between 1934 and 1953 in the municipality of Gnosjö in the south of Sweden and covers the period 1998 to 2001. Compared with the country, a large proportion of the population of the municipality of Gnosjö works in the manufacturing industry. The aim was to examine associations between physical and psychological stress factors in and outside work, sickness absence and cardiovascular and musculoskeletal diseases, from a gender perspective. Information…about working conditions and other aspect of life was collected by a questionnaire in 1998, and register data about sickness absence, cardiovascular diseases and musculoskeletal diseases 1999–2001. The impact on sickness absence consisted mainly of demand and control aspects of the psychosocial working conditions, but also temporary employment and of low sense of coherence. In relation to musculoskeletal health, demand and control was important among women, but not among men. Very few physical factors in the work environment were related to musculoskeletal diseases. Low sense of coherence had an impact also on musculoskeletal diseases. Cardiovascular diseases among women were influenced by demand and control and by life style related factors. We hope that the knowledge gained from our study makes it possible to develop better tools for both the preventive work in Gnosjö and for the rehabilitation of the people already ill. Because of our holistic approach, both public health aspects and working life aspects are covered. The municipality of Gnosjö is small, and therefore foreseeable in a way that many municipalities are not. Still, we do believe that our finding, in this longitudinal study, can be of value also in the public efforts and the efforts to develop adequate and successful rehabilitation approaches.
Keywords: Work and leisure time, psychosocial, physical, sense of coherence
Abstract: A large body of research has linked social support to health, but there are fewer studies that have focused on factors that influence the level of social support available and/or perceived by employees in different organisations. This cross-sectional study therefore investigated the relationship between on the one hand, organisational, individual and socio-demographic factors and on the other, the level of social support at the workplace, i.e., the degree of supervisor support and a supportive work…atmosphere. Organisational variables (job demands, job control, job content), individual (self-esteem, mistrust) and socio-demographic variables (type of employer, occupational position, age, gender and educational level) were used as independent variables in the analyses. The sample consisted of 16,144 individuals at a variety of different organisations in Sweden, who had responded to a questionnaire covering different psychosocial and psychological stress factors ("the Stress Profile"). Multiple hierarchical regression analyses were performed separately for each of the two dependent variables, which yielded almost identical results, and indicated that organisational determinants, particularly perceived job control, had the largest impact on the degree of social support.
Abstract: Sickness absence is a great public health problem and there is a lack of knowledge concerning the hows and whys of success or failure in promoting return to work of sick-listed persons. Discussions of and research into social and psychological aspects of this problem area are in need of theoretical contextualisation. In this paper it is suggested that theories of social emotions may be useful, and that the concept of empowerment can be applied provided that…it is reasonably well defined. The notions of pride/shame and empowerment are elucidated and discussed, and it is shown that they can be related in the context of research into emotional dimensions of sickness absentees' experiences of the rehabilitation process in a way that may help to guide empirical studies. A simple model of hypothetical relations between pride/shame, empowerment/disempowerment, work ability, health, and return to work is sketched.
Abstract: Background. Burnout is an occupational disease that impairs both quality of health care and physicians' health. It is associated with emotional distress, absenteeism, reduction in personal effectiveness, and increased risk for health problems. Burnout has rarely been investigated among pediatricians. Objectives. We investigated the association between work structure and burnout among primary care pediatricians. Work structure was conceptualized as the discrepancy between perceived workload and satisfaction from specific professional activities.…Methods. 126 Israeli pediatricians at child healthcare community clinics (63% response rate) responded anonymously to a self-report questionnaire assessing workload, satisfaction and burnout. Results. Burnout was associated significantly with workload/satisfaction discrepancy. The highest discrepancy involved administrative duties and the lowest was found for regular office visits, consultations concerning child development and inoculations, and continuing medical education. Conclusions. Burnout was associated with infrequent performance of satisfying activities (e.g. research, tutoring medical students); and frequent engagement in disliked duties (e.g. administrative work). Burnout may be reduced by modifying work structure to include more involvement in professional interactions with other professionals, more varied and challenging activities such as teaching medical students, participating in research and community health promotion.
Abstract: Force exertion is related to low back injuries (LBI). This paper critically reviews the literature concerning cut-points for back force exertion, presents available guidelines in a concise manner, and identifies areas that need further research. The studies reviewed were grouped according to the criteria used to set the cut-point values. Most often cut-points differ than concur. The approach considering physiological, psychophysical, epidemiological, and biomechanical aspects of back force exertion meets the most…known criteria and presents the lowest common denominator of instantaneous load for lifting tasks. Further experimental and epidemiological studies in peak load and cumulative exposure are necessary. Compound indices should also be developed for pushing, pulling, and carrying. Future indices should consider electromyographically determined fatigue, differential viscoelastic properties of tissues, aging, and the cross sectional area of back muscles. We hope that this paper contributes to a more systematic appraisal of back force exertion at work.
Keywords: Spine, work-related low back injuries, low back pain, prevention, physical ergonomics, loads, compression, contraction, psychophysical, strength
Abstract: The aims of the present study were to: (a) determine if self-reported coping is consistent with conceptually-equivalent investigator-rated coping indices; (b) establish which types of coping are associated with psychological stress; and (c) establish whether using investigator-rated in addition to self-report coping indices to predict stress outcomes is beneficial in a real life context of worker's stressors. To fulfil these aims, a longitudinal investigation was conducted among 40 Canadian workers from the…public utility sector. Results from semi-structured interviews about their worst current stressors revealed main effects for some coping types as assessed with investigator-rated indices, whereas no main effects were observed with self-report coping indices. Still, self-report and investigator-rated coping indices together significantly predicted follow-up stress. Psychological stress was most strongly predicted by investigator-rated behavioural approach. While self-report cognitive approach predicted lower psychological stress, investigator-rated cognitive approach predicted greater stress. Findings underline the importance of using both types of coping indices to predict outcome.
Keywords: Coping, psychological stress, multi-source measurement, Life Events and Difficulties Schedule, longitudinal investigation, public utility workers