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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: In addition to being an outcome, workforce reentry is a process: People with HIV/AIDS attempting to go back to work must make initial decisions to engage in such an attempt, they then must go through a series of steps that may include re-education or retraining, job searches, résumé development, and other activities. Sustaining employment, in turn, entails its own set of activities. People attempting workforce reentry may also experience barriers on their journeys back to work,…they may employ certain strengths to reach their goals, and they may use resources to facilitate preparation for work. Few studies have attempted to study this process. This study was designed to provide an initial attempt to study the process of workforce reentry. Abstracted information from the progress notes of 104 people with HIV/AIDS attempting workforce reentry was qualitatively analyzed using a grounded theory approach to identify themes. Three major themes emerged with reliability: Barriers to workforce reentry, staff-identified strengths, and resources used in workforce-reentry efforts. Although none predicted successful workforce reentry, participants in the study experienced substantial barriers in their workforce-reentry efforts, staff identified significant strengths, and participants used appropriate resources in their efforts to go back to work. Implications for workforce-reentry programs for people with HIV/AIDS are discussed.
Abstract: Treatment that prolongs the lives of people with HIV/AIDS and improves their quality of life is relatively recent and little is known about factors that may predict their successful re-entry to the workforce. No data exist concerning the effectiveness of programs to assist people with HIV/AIDS in their efforts to return to work. We used logistic regression and Kaplan-Meier survival curves to predict return to work using data from 126 individuals who participated in an HIV/AIDS…return to work program. Results from the 24 month follow-up revealed that program participation, general health, benefits status, and gender, predicted successful re-entry to the workforce. We discuss these findings in the context of the need for more explicitly-defined interventions, as well as the need for additional information on factors that may hinder or facilitate workforce re-entry among people with HIV/AIDS.
Abstract: With the advent of more advanced treatments and therapies, people with HIV/AIDS are experiencing significant improvements in their health, making many of their ongoing employment and career goals more realistic. However, people with HIV/AIDS continue to have major concerns regarding the impact of working on their benefits and entitlements, including apprehensions about potential economic hardships related to loss of financial supports and health insurance coverage. This article focuses on factors related to employment…status, sources of health benefits, and entitlements among people with HIV/AIDS. In addition, results of the study demonstrate differences in employment status, benefit types, and the amount of financial support individuals receive based on gender.
Abstract: Finding work and/or re-entering the workforce can be extremely challenging for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Also difficult is assisting them in the process, mostly because there is little documentation or resources about programs that provide vocational services specifically for this population. In response to this dilemma and because it was perceived as a win/win situation, three urban residential community organizations serving the HIV/AIDS population, decided independently to create in-house work opportunities for…their clients. All of these organizations are a variation of the same theme: transitional/supportive housing for persons with HIV/AIDS that were formerly homeless and are now interested in becoming increasingly self-sufficient. This article will present a program description that addresses unique manner in which these three sites created in-house job programs in the areas of receptionist, kitchen, and maintenance work. More specifically, this paper will address the strengths, limitations, and ethical considerations that guided program development.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, in-house job training, stabilization of health, transitional and supportive living
Abstract: Medical advances have transformed HIV/AIDS from a short-term terminal illness to a long-term chronic condition. Consequently, the disability experience of persons with HIV illness has shifted from issues related to physical well-being to those concerning performance of daily life activities and wider community participation. These changes have necessitated rehabilitation interventions for persons with HIV/AIDS to focus on issues related to enabling participation in all spheres of everyday activities. However, limited information is…available on the impairments prevalent in the emergent population of people living with HIV/AIDS and on the impact of these impairments on the person's functional performance and participation in various occupations of daily living. The present study attempted to explore these issues as they are experienced by the emergent population of people living with HIV/AIDS. The purpose of the study was: (1) to explore occupational functioning across various activities, (2) to describe the various impairments prevalent in this population, and (3) to examine the impact of these impairments on the person's perceived occupational competence. Two instruments, the Sign and symptom checklist for persons with HIV disease and the Occupational Self-Assessment were administered to a sample of 35 individuals (Mean age=42.8 yrs.) living in supportive living facilities. Impairments most commonly identified by the participants included: fatigue; fear/worries; difficulty concentrating; muscle aches; and depression. The two primary areas of occupational functioning where participants reported experiencing moderate to severe difficulty included: managing finances and physically engaging in activities which were reported by 67.7% and 35.5% of the participants respectively. No statistically significant correlation was observed between various measures of impairments and the overall measure of perceived occupational competence for the sample of individuals living with HIV/AIDS included in this study.
Abstract: Aims: The aim of this study was to examine and describe the relationship between the efforts of twelve men living with AIDS to reestablish a worker role following completion of a vocational rehabilitation program and changes in their occupational identity, occupational competence and perception of occupational settings (environment). Methods: A series of in-depth interviews were conducted, transcribed and analyzed via categorical content analysis using sections of the text as the unit of analysis.…Findings: Findings illustrate how constructs measured by the sub-scales of the OPHI-II may be helpful in understanding how persons frame past, present and anticipated experiences as they attempt to reestablish a life role lost after the onset of disability. The findings are supported by the quantitative item hierarchies of the occupational identity, occupational competence and occupational settings (environment) scales established in earlier quantitative research via Rasch analysis. Conclusion: The constructs of occupational identity, occupational competence and occupational settings (environment) are useful constructs to aid in understanding the experiences and narratives of persons attempting to reenter a major life role.
Keywords: AIDS, employment, model of human occupation, identity, competence
Abstract: In the last decade, new treatments for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have led to improved health and longer life expectancies for many HIV-positive individuals. Coping with HIV/AIDS as a chronic, rather than terminal illness presents new challenges for those living with the disease and for service providers. This review of HIV/AIDS-related literature attempts to address the major medical, psychological and psychosocial challenges related to living long-term with…HIV/AIDS and consider how they may present obstacles to attainment of educational and vocational goals for HIV-positive individuals. Implications for service providers and suggestions for future research are discussed. An exploratory study of needs assessment is proposed.
Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to identify the perception of interdisciplinary staff members regarding the impact of a model work and independent living oriented program for residents in supportive living facilities. This study used focus groups and individual interviews to collect these perceptions. Staff members identified four areas of impact: utilization of a holistic and process-oriented approach, an ability to identify and work with the strengths of clients, emphasis on the learning of practical…skills, and creating an intersection for all aspects of services. These findings point to the fact that staff members found the value that occupational therapy has to offer their overall programming by improving participation of clients with HIV in learning practical skills for use in their daily lives and in developing work related skills.
Keywords: Focus groups, HIV/AIDS, independent living
Abstract: It has been a little over one decade since the introduction of the first protease inhibitor that ushered in new era of treatment for persons living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). As of the end of 2003, an estimated 37.8 million people worldwide were infected with the HIV. It is estimated that there are 850,000–950,000 persons in the United States living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and that the incident rate…is new cases each year. Since AIDS affects so many people of working age in the US, issues of employment, work rehabilitation and AIDS in the workplace have all become major concerns. The paper presents a review of the literature published during a ten year period that is relevant to understanding the various needs and barriers related to work as well as services designed to address them.
Abstract: Advances in the management of HIV disease have increasingly focused attention on the possibilities of return to employment for individuals with HIV disease. However whilst mortality has decreased and life expectancies have lengthened, life for the individual with HIV remains both complex and unpredictable. This article explores the notion of return to work as narrative theme. A case study highlighting the narrative nature of how return to work might be conceptualised by the HIV positive individual…is presented; ahead of a brief discussion as to how the lived reality of combination therapy may impact upon the individual's conceptualisation of employment in the broader context of their life story.
Abstract: Objectives. This study examined the psychometric properties of the rating scale of the Worker Role Interview (WRI). The study also asked whether the scale's items formed a valid measure of the construct, psychosocial capacity for work, and whether they were targeted to and could effectively discriminate between persons at different levels of psychosocial ability for work. Method of study. Data were collected from 21 raters on 440 participants from the United States, Sweden and Iceland.…A many-faceted Rasch model was used to analyze the data. Results. Most items of the scale worked effectively to measure the underlying construct for which the WRI was designed. In addition, the items were ordered from least to more of the underlying construct as expected. The scale validly measured 90.23% of the participants, who varied by nationality, culture, age and diagnostic status. The scale's items distinguished participants into approximately three different strata and were appropriately targeted to the participants. Seventeen of the 21 raters used scale in a valid manner. Conclusions. The WRI scale and items are valid across ages, diagnoses, and culture and effectively measure a wide range of persons.
Keywords: Assessment, worker role, model of human occupation
Abstract: This two-year longitudinal qualitative study explored worker role identity development of seven women with disabilities who experienced domestic violence. Yearly semi-structured interviews and monthly follow up calls elucidated the meaning of work in women's lives and the development of role identity during transitions from shelters to the community. Participants aged 26–47, were from two domestic violence shelters and an independent living center in the Midwestern United States. Data analyses, using constant comparative…methods, a peer team and member checking, revealed that women's work roles remained in a state of identity diffusion. Identity diffusion in the worker role was delineated into three themes: role ambivalence, impact of disability, and relationship of the worker role to other roles. Study findings suggest a conflict between staff urgency to support women's return to work and economic self-sufficiency, and women's readiness to assume stronger work identities.