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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: Terms and theories of work attendance vary according to their use and focus. This paper analyzes long-term work attendance in relation to social, psychosocial, and health-related factors. Register-based and questionnaire-based data covering 3,804 human service organisation workers over a three-year period were analyzed at individual and work-unit level. The results showed positive relationships between work attendance and male gender, high income, work commitment, job satisfaction, and having positive feelings towards work. High…work attendance combined with work commitment, stress, or pain did not show any negative long-term effects upon short-term or long-term sick leave. Instead, work attendance seemed to be more associated with stable patterns of behaviour. Register-based measures of work attendance (at most 4–7 days of sick leave per worker per year) may be a useful tool in managing psychosocial work environment and related behaviour, but their inability to encompass information regarding individual health and disease must be borne in mind.
Keywords: Sick leave, work ability, sickness presenteeism, work performance, management
Abstract: Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE's) are part of practice in work injury prevention and rehabilitation, and are designed to define an individual's functional abilities or limitations in the context of safe, productive work tasks. Qualitative research methodology was used to investigate the attitudes and behaviours of health professionals in relation to FCE use. The study aimed to identify why health professionals chose a particular FCE, and to identify what factors influence health professionals' clinical…judgements when providing results and recommendations for the individual being assessed. Five health professionals from the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, participated in semi-structured, individual interviews using a phenomenological approach. Following inductive analysis of the data, four themes reflecting participants' attitudes and behaviours of FCE use emerged: i) referrals and expectations, including why and when the assessment is completed ii) outcomes, – what the results aim to provide iii) workplace/practice/usage issues and iv) skills of the assessor. The results indicate the need for further research on the clinical utility of FCE's. A large scale quantitative study would allow results to be generalised to a wider community of FCE users.
Abstract: The purpose of this systematic review was to explore the occupational and personal factors associated with occupational musculoskeletal injuries among health care providers and to identify the psychosocial issues as a result of the injuries. Then, an extrapolation developed to link the potential risks to occupational therapy practitioners. The inclusion criteria that developed from ten articles was based on content from the health and social science literatures. Searches were conducted via internet databases,…hard-copy search of bibliographies, and citation review of article references. This review included 22 research studies over the past fifteen years (1990–2005). Classic scientific research studies and classical readings that went beyond the specified period were also included. The review revealed that patient handling was the most common occupational factor to cause work-related injuries. Inexperience and young age were major personal factors associated with injuries. Fear, anger, isolation, inability to perform duties and leisure activities were common psychosocial issues as a result of the injuries. It was extrapolated that occupational therapy practitioners were at risk for occupational musculoskeletal injuries. Future studies are recommended to examine the prevalence and risk factors specific to occupational therapy practitioners.
Keywords: Occupational factors, personal factors, patient handling
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this research was to investigate the views of sick-listed employees' immediate superiors on co-operation in vocational rehabilitation before and during a systematic, multi-professional, client-centred, solution-oriented co-operation project in vocational rehabilitation (SMVR intervention). Method: A same-subject study with a questionnaire was used, with 95 immediate superiors giving their views on co-operation both before and during the SMVR intervention. Results and conclusions: The immediate superiors felt that the SMVR intervention…was successful in promoting co-operation, and reported a significant decrease in referrals of employees from one organisation to another without the problem being resolved. Hence SMVR co-operation was experienced positively by the immediate superiors and in fact led to a joint responsibility in finding solutions. The immediate superiors saw greater possibilities than before for employees to resume regular or other jobs during the SMVR intervention. A more elaborate co-operation model such as the SMVR intervention increased the immediate superiors' experience of successful vocational rehabilitation. Organizations seeking to increase efficiency in vocational rehabilitation might well analyse their work methods and improve their forms of co-operation.
Keywords: Multi-professional, client-centred, solution-oriented, employers' perspective, return to work
Abstract: This study reports findings from field research on the perceptions of small business owners and managers of the impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on their firms. Binary Logistic Regression analyses indicate that the majority of owners have positive attitudes toward the act and exhibit high levels of compliance. Firm support for the ADA and participation in carrying out its requirements is driven by both positive and negative factors and extends well beyond the…group of businesses that under the law are required to comply with Titles I and III of the legislation. The results suggest strongly positive impacts of the ADA in the areas of accommodating customers with disabilities and disabled employees who are already on the job. Specific factors influencing compliance decisions and accommodations spending are incorporated in a proposed model of firm behavior.
Abstract: Among working aged adults (18–64) with disabilities, three out of 10 (32%) work full or part-time, compared to eight out of 10 (81%) of those without disabilities . In addition, 24.7% of women with a severe disability and 27.8% of men with a severe disability are employed, while women with a non-severe disability have an employment rate of 68.4% and men with a non-severe disability have an employment rate of 85.1% . This study…examined data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey from 1995–2002 to determine whether or not disparities exist in the rate of unemployment for women with disabilities, compared to men with disabilities and women and men without disabilities. In addition, regression analysis looked at the how disability and gender predict the outcome of unemployment. Results showed that there has been essentially no change with regard to employment for any of these populations. In addition, disability and gender were found to be the strongest predictors of unemployment for women with disabilities. Possible explanations were discussed as to the reasons for the results and issues were presented for future research.
Abstract: Work-related muscuoloskeletal disorders (WMSDs) continue to represent the most costly category of occupational diseases. There is a growing body of literature regarding the causal nature of these injuries and effective intervention strategies. In this context, the consistent utilization of evidence-based practice (EBP) to address these problems can be viewed as one indicator of occupational health effectiveness. However, the routine integration of EBP remains elusive in occupational and physical therapy practice, including the…occupational health arena. This article describes an implementation effectiveness model from the field of organizational management and applies it to the implementation of EBP within the occupational health practice arena. As a predictive or evaluative tool regarding implementation success, the model can assist clinic managers and clinicians in developing targeted approaches to EBP initiatives within any health care facility.
Abstract: The British Columbia Paraplegic Association (BCPA) sought a research partnership to evaluate where its activities should be focused. A survey of members with disabilities of the BCPA included questions on employment and identified three priorities related to employment. These were the need for assistance in finding appropriate work, the impact of policies of government and insurance agencies, and attitudes of employers. This paper examines the social and political environment related to employment following spinal cord…injury in British Columbia, Canada. There is no coherent set of goals underlying government employment and income programs in Canada. Incremental development of particular employment and income programs during the 20th century led to a patchwork of policies and programs, which deal with people differently according to the cause of their disability. Federal and provincial governments have attempted to educate employers and reduce barriers to employment of those with disabilities by focusing on anti-discrimination legislation and individual rights (e.g. the Employment Equity Act and the Canadian Human Rights Act). However, people with disabilities face non-accommodating environments, inadequate income support, lack of opportunities and little political influence which stem from an unfair distribution of societal resources, not from discrimination. Joint efforts of the BCPA and other disability organizations are likely to have the most impact on legislative changes.
Abstract: Some workers who are injured at work have unexpectedly prolonged absences from work. Experiences of workers who constitute a disproportionate cost to the return-to-work system and the systemic and compliance-related barriers they encounter during the process of returning to work are reported. A qualitative interview based study was conducted with 37 members of three injured worker peer support groups in a Canadian province. Four dimensions of peer support were identified: worker experience of being misunderstood by…system providers, need for advocates, social support, help with procedural complexities of the workers' compensation, and health care systems. Peer support constitutes a partial return-to-work solution for workers with injuries, but injured workers encounter an uneven playing field. Injured worker peer support group needs and activities show us that sensitivity to structural and social issues may lead to better return-to-work outcomes.
Keywords: Canadian workers' compensation, self-reliance, interactionist theory