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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: Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) is a collection of chronic musculoskeletal disorders caused by frequent, sustained, and repetitive movements, most notably by computer usage at the workplace. A computer based break reminder program (Stop and Stretch) has been developed and installed to prevent CTDs caused by prolonged computer usage at the workplace. We investigated users' opinions to the Stop and Stretch program at their work place. 19 computer users were recruited as the subjects of the study.…We conducted a survey after all the subjects used the Stop and Stretch program for one month. Among the nineteen subjects, 52.5% or 10 noticed a difference of symptoms after using the program; 63.3% or 12 thought the program had positive effect on their productivity; 100% or all 19 thought the program was easy to follow; 100% or all 19 thought it was helpful; 94.7% or18 were satisfied with the program; and the same value would recommend the program to others. When grouped into those who had prior experience with using stretch and exercise as part of their work routine15 subjects had no prior experience; and 14 participants within that group were satisfied or very satisfied with the program; 93.3% or 14 would recommend it to co-workers; and over half of those 15 thought the program is easy to use. The study provided insight to the response to using "stretch break software" and provided indicators of satisfaction with the Stop and Stretch program and that the program had sufficient usability and acceptance within a workplace setting which might be applied in other work settings similar to these.
Abstract: This article critically reviews 11 participatory ergonomic interventions carried out in Québec by the Occupational Health and Safety Research Institute (IRSST). In the introduction, the characteristics of the approach used are situated in relation to the literature on this subject. Based on the "Ergo team" formula, the approach aims to provide company personnel with the skills to analyze and correct hazardous workstations in relation to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), using an analysis process that the researchers…developed. Although isolated workstations were corrected, the process aims for more general impacts on the company. In the 11 interventions, 40 work situations were analyzed, and in 31 cases, changes were implemented to reduce MSD risks. The most common changes dealt with the tools/equipment (77.4% and physical layouts (84%); changes involving work methods (29% and work organization (12.9%) were less common. The difficulties encountered in the interventions are summarized, and the possible impacts of the interventions on the organization and psychosocial factors are discussed. The authors then address the limitations of the paper and the factors that should be considered in evaluating such a participatory process. The authors conclude that the participatory process was successful in implementing changes in companies and that other studies are necessary for a better understanding of the process and its impacts.
Keywords: Participatory ergonomics, musculoskeletal disorders, evaluation of intervention
Abstract: Primary objective: The primary objective of this study was to determine the extent and severity of the musculoskeletal problems in office workers in a telecommunication company. Research design: A questionnaire survey was conducted to assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders' symptoms, their perceived intensity and interaction with ability to work among office workers. Methods and procedures: The Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire and Cornell Hand Discomfort Questionnaire developed by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory…at Cornell University were used on a sample of 140 office workers in a telecommunication company. Main outcomes and results: Discomfort/pain/ache at the wrist level was reported by 86.5% for the left side and 95.5% for the right side. Additionally, discomfort/pain/ache was reported by 77.5% of the sample for neck and 31% of the sample for the left and 50% for the right shoulder region. At the hand site, the area in the distal proximity of the wrist was the most affected site being indicated in 90% of cases for left side and 95% of cases for the right side. Conclusions: An overview of problems associated with the body parts in office work may allow targeted prevention and intervention.
Abstract: The factors that influence time missed from work among individuals diagnosed with multiple sclerosis were the focus of this study. Records of individuals who were employed and diagnosed with multiple sclerosis between the years 1999 and 2002 (N=284) were examined for details pertaining to their medical claims. Multivariate regressions, controlling for demographic characteristics, type of immunomodulatory medication, and overall severity of illness, were used in the examination of the total number of days…missed from work for any reason and those missed due to absenteeism, short-term disability, or worker's compensation. Results indicate that lost work time is affected by severity of illness, and type of immunomodulatory therapy. Comparing individuals treated with the specific immunomodulator glatiramer acetate, interferon beta-1a (intramuscular), or interferon beta-1b, to those who did not receive multiple sclerosis medications of this type; only glatiramer acetate was associated with significantly fewer days missed from work for short term disability (18.24 fewer days, P<0.03), worker's compensation (29.50 fewer days, P<0.04) or any reason (53.70 fewer days, P< 0.003).
Abstract: The aim of the study was to investigate the relevance of the demand-control model and social support in predicting long-term sickness absence (LTSA). Identifying gender- and sector- (private vs. public) specific patterns was in focus. The study uses a cross-sectional design with a case and a control group. The cases are a sample of 2 327 long-term sick listed (>60 days) and the controls are a Swedish population-based sample of 2 063. Data on sickness absence…were retrieved from the Swedish national social insurance registers. Data on health, working and living conditions were gathered through a self-administered questionnaire. The results show that employed women have a notably higher risk for LTSA than employed men. High-strain jobs increase the odds for LTSA among both women and men. Active jobs were also associated with LTSA among women. The study confirms the demand-control model (job strain hypothesis) and social support and their associations with LTSA. However, the job strain hypothesis is more evident in the private sector. Active jobs with high psychological demands and high decision latitude seem to be problematic for many women, especially in the private sector. Thus, the active learning hypothesis receives no support for women in the Swedish working population in general.
Abstract: Health-related lifestyle, harassment at work, and self-assessed health of female flight attendants in comparison to that of female nurses and female primary school teachers were surveyed. A higher proportion of flight attendants than nurses or teachers were smokers, 26% vs. 15% and 17% respectively; and consumed alcohol at least once a week, 40% vs. 21% and 16%. Repeated sexual harassment at work was more common among the flight attendants, 31% vs. 8% and 4%; whereas bullying,…physical violence and threats were less prevalent among the flight attendants (12%) than among nurses (19%). Flight attendants were on average somewhat taller, but weighed on average less, 63.8 kg vs. 72.4 kg and 72.7 kg respectively. Repeated exposure to sexual harassment, bullying, violence and threats was related to less physical and psychological well-being in all the groups. Teachers scored on average significantly lower than did the flight attendants on general health and physical well-being, while nurses did not.
Abstract: Residents of the county of Östergötland, Sweden, who were 16–64 years of age in December 1984 and not pensioned (n=229,864), were followed in a prospective, cohort, study of data collected between 1985 and 1996. Using survival methods as the method of analysis, the likelihood of being granted a disability pension was 14% for women, 11% for men, and increased with age. Women less than 54 years of age were at higher risk than men (P<0.001), 69%…of disability pensions granted were full-time and 31% were part-time, more women received part-time pensions (P<0.001). Whether the differences observed are due to gender bias in social insurance practices, to disease patterns, to occupational and work-related factors, or to a cohort effect has yet to be determined.
Abstract: Lowered expectations and overprotection of the individual with a disability can cause lowered self esteem which can result in a life time of underachievement and failure to reach their full potential. Both lowered expectations and overprotection are forms of discrimination. Internalization of discrimination causes the person with a disability to believe that they are less capable than a person without a disability. Parents and care providers of children with disabilities may overprotect the child to shield…them from harm; however this can actually cause more damage. Successful parenting skills are required to help children and adolescents develop a positive self concept and high self esteem. Guidelines have been developed to assist parents, educators and other professionals regarding the effects of overprotection and lowered expectations.
Abstract: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) have a multifactorial etiology. Therefore, a holistic approach to identifying target groups for primary/secondary prevention is essential. In this study, an exploratory person-oriented approach was applied, using cluster analysis of variables related to physical and psychosocial work conditions, and conditions in the private sphere, on a data set of 1,341 Swedish women and men who had not sought care for MSDs the 6 months preceding enrollment in the study. Three groups at…risk and five "healthy" groups regarding MSDs were identified. Two of the risk groups had a strained situation regarding psychosocial work conditions or domestic/family conditions, respectively. The majority of individuals in these groups were women. The third risk group had a strained situation regarding both physical and psychosocial work conditions. This group consisted largely of men working in male-dominated jobs. The five healthy groups had low/moderate metabolic demands at work, and all of them having high proportions of subjects with moderate to high education, and fairly even distributions of men and women. In conclusion, the results indicate that gender-specific working and living conditions are associated with an increased risk for MSDs. The identification of these subgroups in the population may facilitate a selective prevention approach.
Keywords: Prevention, neck/shoulder disorder, low back disorder, cluster analysis, gender