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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 aim of the study presented here was to identify and characterize the constituents of a healthy workplace from the viewpoints of employees at four different companies with low rate of absenteeism due to illness. A non-randomized, purposive selection was made of 27 respondents – four department heads, 16 white-collar workers, and seven blue-collar employees. The respondents were told to describe in writing how they experience factors contributing to good health at their workplace. The data…analysis was carried out with a phenomenographic approach. Four main categories of health-related factors emerged: Good Work Environment, Active Keep-Fit Measures, Functional Leadership and Individual Responsibility. The employers fulfil demands for a good physical working environment, but the need for improvements in the psychosocial environment remains. The most promising finding is that the respondents' accept personal responsibility for maintaining their own good health.
Abstract: Objectives: This research sought to identify the perceptions of individuals with disabilities regarding employment, how prepared they felt for the workforce, and what the limiting factors that affected employment were. Methods: Students from a local center for independent living's College for Living classes completed 60 surveys containing yes-no and Likert scale questions during their regularly scheduled class time. Results: Sixty-seven percent of individuals would like to attend a course to improve their skills.…82% of individuals who had participated in employment programs felt they had the necessary skills to work while 35.3% of those who did not attend employment programs felt they had the necessary skills. Transportation and disability status were the mostly frequently mentioned limiting factors to employment. Conclusions: Generally, individuals who had either participated in an employment program were less likely to report barriers to their participation in employment than those who had never attended an employment program.
Abstract: Musculoskeletal disorders constitute a considerable public health problem, often resulting in sickness absence, particularly in public sector employees. Increased knowledge on how this is related to individual and work-related factors is required. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between self-reported musculoskeletal pain and the following factors: physical and psychosocial work conditions, lifestyle, psychosomatic symptoms and sick leave. A comprehensive questionnaire was completed by a total of 2523 people,…of which 87% were women and 13% men. The participants were employed in public hospitals, educational institutions, home care services for the elderly and domestic/catering services in a Swedish county. The response rate was 92%. Multiple logistic regression analyses showed that the high level of self-reported musculoskeletal pain was highly associated with strenuous physical and psychosocial work conditions. The physical factor with the highest odds ratio (OR) was working in a forward-bent position. High work demands was the most prominent psychosocial factor and distinctly associated with musculoskeletal pain among men. Physical work strain and other demanding working conditions, which were associated with musculoskeletal pain, were frequent among employees in home care services for the elderly and domestic/catering services. There was a strong association between long-term sick leave and high musculoskeletal pain. Furthermore, there was a strong association between a high level of musculoskeletal pain and the exhibition of psychosomatic symptoms in both women and men; this is an interaction that may intensify the total experience of illness and thus needs to be further investigated.
Abstract: The workers' compensation system was established to provide fair access to compensation for workers who have experienced occupational injury and can no longer work. It was expected that such a system would reduce individual legal claims. Evidence indicates that many injured workers proceed with a variety of appeals indicating dissatisfaction with the current system. The fishing industry is extremely dangerous. The aim of this research was to explore the experience of injured fish harvesters who were…making use of a compensation system. Interviews were held with a sample of injured in-shore and deep-sea fish harvesters. In general, they identified themselves strongly as hard-working people who did not deserve their injury. They also reported substantial frustration with the staff of the compensation system who they believed treated them with suspicion and disrespect. The deep-sea fish harvesters were more concerned with the amount of compensation. This dissatisfaction with the system contributed to the fish harvesters' use of the appeals procedure. The fish harvesters' complaints are discussed with reference to the concepts of distributive and procedural justice.
Keywords: Injured workers, distributive and procedural justice
Abstract: Objective: To compare health and exposures at work and at home of women and men with the same educational background. Methods: The study group consisted of 3831 individuals, grouped into three educational categories based on length of education. Category 1, which represents 9-year compulsory school; Category 2, which includes 3-year upper secondary school, i.e. in total 12 years of education; and Category 3, which includes post-secondary school, such as university. They responded to a…questionnaire that included questions on health and exposures at work and at home. Results: Significant differences were shown in health outcomes between women and men with the same educational background and also in exposures in their professional and private lives. Associations between educational background and health were found and analyses revealed that men with a university education run the lowest risk of developing ill health. Conclusion: Women with the same educational background as men are differently exposed, both in paid and unpaid work, due to the segregated labour market and the unequal distribution of domestic duties. Men in all educational categories studied had better health compared to women with the same educational background.
Abstract: At-work exercises are commonly recommended for computer operators. This randomized control trial assessed adherence, pain and satisfaction after 4 weeks of at-work exercise. Subjects (n=72) were randomized into 3 groups: resistance exercise, stretching, and control. Outcomes included a satisfaction survey, a visual analogue pain scale (VAS), a pain drawing, and the Neck Disability Index (NDI). The VAS, the drawing, and NDI were analyzed together as a composite variate referred to as Pain Impact. Exercise frequency was…similar across the 3 groups (median=1.5 times per day). No differences were found between groups on Pain Impact p=0.714) or individual pain variables. Most satisfaction survey item scores did not differ between groups. However, a significant difference between groups on the survey item related to discomfort. The resistance and stretching group differed from the control group with regard to their perception that the exercises were helpful in reducing discomfort in the back and neck (p<0.001). We conclude that most subjects found the resistance and the stretching exercises easy to do, performed them 1 to 2 times daily, and said they reduced discomfort. To determine optimal type and frequency of at-work exercises, further study is needed.
Abstract: Recently, researchers have reported high musculoskeletal symptom prevalence at several US colleges. Since ergonomic interventions have been shown to prevent and reduce disability, it is important to identify the risk factors for developing symptoms among college students. A nested case-control study was completed to determine computer-related ergonomic risks associated with musculoskeletal symptoms. A trained observer completed ergonomic assessments on 52 randomly selected cases and controls. More than 75 percent (cases and controls…combined) of the population was exposed to nine potential postural strains including: arms not along side during keying or mousing; lower back not supported; not having chair accessories; computer monitor not adjustable; mouse being too high or low; hand/wrist/forearm in contact with the desk edge; lack of wrist support; and keyboard not being adjustable. Cases and controls were equally likely to have substantially elevated risks but because the sample was small and lacked power, no risks were statistically significant. Since many known risk factors were prevalent in cases and controls, more research is required to evaluate and prevent injury in this population.
Keywords: Computing, pain, college students, musculoskeletal symptoms, ergonomics
Abstract: The Workforce Investment Act (WIA) of 1998 mandates that partners in the One-Stop Career Center (One-Stop) system be prepared to serve a diverse customer base, including job seekers with disabilities. For many such individuals, effective service delivery depends in part on the existence of appropriate and efficient assistive technology (AT) options. This article presents challenges experienced by One-Stop partners related to AT provision as well as strategies for providing effective AT support. Findings from case study…research conducted in several One-Stops across the country revealed three strategies that have enhanced employment services and addressed barriers. These are (a) an accurate assessment of AT needs, (b) staff training and practice using the equipment, and (c) the ability to make the most of limited financial resources. Implications for the most efficient ways to provide AT options are discussed.
Keywords: Assistive technology, One-Stop Career Centers, individuals with disabilities
Abstract: This study compared personal and health factors and job characteristics in persons with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and a healthy control group and examined factors related to job characertistics. Fifteen women with SLE and 15 healthy controls completed a questionnaire regarding current employment, employer restrictions, job environment, type of work, and health factors interfering with work. Personal factors such as demographic information, disease severity, cognition, and degree of brain injury were also…assessed. t-tests showed that persons with SLE worked significantly less than healthy controls but there were no significant differences between the groups for types of job or employee restrictions. In the group with SLE, health factors of mobility, dependence, musculoskeletal problems, neurological problems, and fatigue correlated with perceived social (r=0.53 to 0.67) and physical (r=0.56 to 0.87) work environments. None of the measures of cognition, brain injury or disease severity correlated with job characteristics. In the healthy controls, dependence at work correlated with physical environment and fatigue correlated with the social environment of the workplace. The results indicate that even persons with SLE who have mild disease are significantly different from healthy controls and might be at risk for discontinuing working.
Keywords: Work disability, cognition, systemic lupus erythmatosus