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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: Purpose: To design and evaluate a pilot intervention to promote self-management skills and work transition for persons with HIV/AIDS. The seven-week group intervention consisted of 1.5-hour bi-weekly sessions focused on goal setting and developing strategies to manage health, work and daily life routines while participating in a job skills training program in New York City. Methods: Six successive groups received the intervention over the course of two years (n = 53). Existing and newly-developed…measures were used to examine key outcomes. Differences between pre-intervention and post-intervention scores on outcome measures were examined using paired-tests and effect sizes. Employment outcomes and participant satisfaction were examined post-intervention. Results: The intervention was feasible to implement and sessions were viewed favorably by the majority of participants. Moderate to large effect sizes were found immediately post-intervention in participants' perceived ability to work and balance health, work and daily life. Fifty two percent of the participants were working part or full time and 41% were actively searching for employment at three to five months follow-up. Small effect sizes demonstrating improved outcomes at follow-up were found in symptom severity, self-advocacy and medication adherence self-efficacy. Small effect sizes demonstrating a potential decrement in outcomes at follow-up were found in participants' need satisfaction and perceived symptom impact on work performance. Conclusions: The results are promising, but further research is needed due to design limitations and the preliminary nature of the intervention and measures used. The potential decrement in outcomes might reflect a shift in participants' needs or view of how their health affected work performance and suggests that ongoing supports were needed post-intervention.
Keywords: Work transition, employment, chronic illness, self-management
Abstract: Inflammatory arthritis (IA) is a leading cause of work disability, especially for those with jobs involving repetitive, hand-intensive or manual work. Ergonomic interventions may mediate against job loss. Our objective was to identify desirable features of an ergonomic tool for use in providing job accommodation for people with IA, and to evaluate a selection of ergonomic and rehabilitation tools against these features. Eight desirable features were compared across 16 assessment tools. None of the tools met…all the pre-determined features. Ergonomic assessment tools should incorporate objective assessment of risk factors together with subjective perceptions of symptom aggravation, and identify risk factors that may not currently be causing problems, but may increase risk of aggravation or injury in the future. To accommodate the needs of people with IA, the tool should allow for evaluation of risks and generation of solutions without a worksite visit in situations where the client does not want to disclose their illness. Finally, an assessment tool needs to be applicable to a wide range of worksites, easy to use, valid, and reliable. Against these criteria, it appears that there is a lack of appropriate ergonomic assessment tools for use in people with IA.
Abstract: The objective of this study was to analyze whether lumbar spondyloarthrosis is associated with depression. A cross-sectional comparative survey was conducted, in which 99 workers insured by the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS, according to its designation in Spanish), ranging from 23–55 years of age, participated. Conditional logistic regression analysis showed that chronic lumbar spondyloarthrosis illness, when adjusted for participation in sports activity, was found to be associated with depression (OR =…3.4; CI 95% 1.2–9.4). This suggests that among those suffering said physical condition there is greater association with depressive symptoms. The study's results indicate the necessity of evaluating all workers with lumbar spondyloarthrosis for the presence of depression, and the suggestion is made that psychological support treatment be implemented in conjunction with physical treatment as a means of preventing depression.
Keywords: Depression, prevention, low back pain, lumbar spondyloarthrosis
Abstract: This study is a prospective multicentre cohort study entitled Work and Health in the Processing and Engineering Industries, the AHA Study (AHA is the Swedish abbreviation for the study). Four large workplaces in Sweden participated during the years from 2000 to 2003. The present report has two objectives: (1) to present a comprehensive occupational health intervention programme and (2) to evaluate this programme with a focus on lifestyle (smoking and exercise), health related quality of life…(HRQoL) and sick leave. Interventions were provided on an individual and group level, including evidence-based methods for four health/focus areas (individual level) and a group intervention based on a survey-feedback methodology. The analyses in this report were exclusively employed at an organizational level. The proportion of smokers decreased at three companies and the course of the HRQoL was advantageous at two of the companies as compared to a gainfully employed reference group. A significant decrease in sick leave was revealed at one company, whereas a break in an ascending sick-leave trend appeared at a second company as compared to their respective corporate groups. This comprehensive workplace intervention programme appears to have had positive effects on smoking habits, HRQoL and sick leave.
Keywords: Workplace, intervention studies, evidence-based medicine, health promotion, mass screening
Abstract: Barriers to seamless service delivery between workforce development and mental health systems of care have kept both entities from maximizing their potential in regards to employment for job seekers with mental illness who are capable of work and seeking employment. Using a multiple case study design, this study examined the nature of collaboration between workforce development and mental health systems to understand the policies and practices in place to assist individuals with mental illness to find…and keep work. The paper presents innovative strategies that involved staff from both workforce development and mental health agencies. Findings from this research identified the following collaborative strategies: (a) the creation of liaison positions and collaborative teams; (b) staff training on mental health and workforce issues; and (c) multi-level involvement of individuals with mental illness. Implications for workforce professionals are offered as a way to stimulate implementation of such strategies.
Keywords: Disability, mental health services, employment services, workforce investment, one-stop career center, collaboration, case study
Abstract: Purpose: This study sought to investigate whether patients with fibromyalgia (FM) are able to perform a work task and home care tasks with less muscle activity, recorded as surface EMG, after a rehabilitation programme as compared to before rehabilitation. Method: Muscle activity in shoulder and arm muscles was measured with surface EMG during a job task and three housework tasks before and after an individually adjusted rehabilitation programme for 16 female patients with FM.…Ten healthy women were measured in the same way. Pain intensity and perception of exertion were assessed with Borg's CR100 scale after every activity. Results: The patients decreased their muscle activity more than the healthy subjects did in the trapezius pars descendens of the non-dominant side during computer typing and ironing. A decrease in pain intensity and perceived exertion after the computer typing and ironing coincided with the decreased muscle activity. Conclusion: Patients with FM are able to learn to perform a work task and a home-care task with less muscle activity in trapezius pars descendens after a rehabilitation programme. Decreased pain intensity and perception of exertion may indicate that these two experiences accompany the decrease in muscle activity.
Abstract: Objectives: To evaluate the outcome after 1, 2, 3 and 10 years of rehabilitation conducted by the Swedish Social Insurance Office, in relation to socioeconomic, psychosocial and gender aspects. Study design: A retro and prospective study of 372 individuals rehabilitated by the National Swedish Insurance Office 1993–1994. Diagnose, socio demographic data, Sense of Coherence and Perceived Health were compared with register data in terms of sickness benefit and disability pension up to 10 years.…Results: At the 10 year follow up 52% of the men and 57% of the women were granted any kind of DP. 82% of the men with low PH and women with a PM or a low PH had any kind of benefit 10 year after rehabilitation started. High age and low PH increases the risk of a full DP after 3 as well as 10 years for both men and women. At the 3 year follow up however, low education was also important for a full DP for men and having a Psychosocial Marker for women. The factors civil status and kind of profession did not significantly relate to a full DP after 10 year. Conclusions: In different ways factors as age, education, psychosocial stress, Sense of Coherence and Perceived Health mediate the rehabilitation process in significant ways by affecting the manifestation of the disease itself and/or via the context in which the rehabilitation takes place, in combination with individual factors that acts over a long time. Age and Perceived Health seems to be the most important factors of them all.
Keywords: Sense of coherence, perceived health, disability pension, socio-demographic factors, gender
Abstract: This article describes the initial development of the Complex Task Performance Assessment (CTPA) as a work-related assessment of dysexecutive syndrome. Methods: A cross-sectional case-control pilot study using the Complex Task Performance Assessment (CTPA) and a neuropsychological battery consisting of subtests from the Delis Kaplan Executive Function System (DKEFS) were used with a population of adults with mild stroke and a control group of healthy community participants (n = 9). Results: A correlation…matrix between the DKEFS and the CTPA found no significant relationships between overall performance efficiency on the CTPA compared to the DKEFS scaled scores. In contrast, four of the six variables tested on the CTPA were found to have significant differences between the mild stroke group and the controls (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The sensitivity of the CTPA in this pilot sample justifies future study to provide a link between traditional neuropsychological assessment and rehabilitation professionals' observation of performance related to return to work. Neuroperformance assessment such as the CTPA will provide clinicians with a way to identify dysexecutive syndrome and higher-level cognitive processing deficits in the context of care.
Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to characterize the physiological demands of postmen during a work day composed of mail sorting (inside work, IW) and cycling distribution (outside work, OW). Two groups of postal workers were constituted according to the geographical profile of their distribution courses: flat profile (FP; n = 7) vs hilly profile (HP; n = 7). Heart rate (HR) was recorded and energy expenditure (EE) was estimated during both IW and OW.…EE was, on average, 1795 ± 497 Kcal per workday. HR was higher (p < 0.001) during OW (104 ± 14 bpm) than during IW (80 ± 7 bpm). HR was highest during the cycling part (109 ± 13 bpm). Average HR was greater (p < 0.001) for HP (112 ± 9 bpm) than for FP route (95 ± 8 bpm). On average, the workload of postmen could be considered as moderate. Nevertheless, the physiological demand greatly increased during the cycling part of OW, especially with hilly geographical profile. The greater physiological strains during the cycling should be factored into the improvement of work organization and delivery materials (e.g. bicycle) for postal workers.
Keywords: Work, postmen, heart rate, energy expenditure, cycling
Abstract: The aim of this study was to study suicide risk in subjects exposed to mobbing, that is, systematic psychological harassment in the workplace. Such psychological harassment, unique to the workplace, threatens both the emotional well-being and professional ability of its victims. The items of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) that assess suicide risk were studied in 102 individuals who were exposed to mobbing. The results indicated that individuals exposed to mobbing had clear differences on…the MMPI-2 from normative samples. In addition, those who appeared to be at risk for suicide differed in their scores from those not at risk. Implications for psychopathology and suicide preventions are discussed.
Abstract: Research has suggested that individuals who experience work related injuries may be at an increased risk for developing trauma symptoms or Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of PTSD from both a categorical and dimensional perspective and discuss implications for rehabilitation planning with workers with industrial injuries. The negative impact of trauma symptoms and PTSD is profiled according the following four areas that are important for effective…career and vocational behavior: (a) making occupational adjustments, (b) adjusting performance to meet specific work demands, (c) utilizing appropriate social and interpersonal skills in the work setting, and (d) meeting the production and time requirements associated with the specific job. Recommendations are then offered to increase the effectiveness of rehabilitation professionals working with industrial injured workers who may be experiencing trauma symptoms or PTSD.
Abstract: Studies indicate that musculoskeletal discomfort and back pain problems are evident not only in adults, but also in children [11,13]. We believe that educating towards a balanced-posture, body-function and movement patterns, as well as their ergonomic implications, can minimize and even prevent these problems. Such an ergonomics awareness educational program has to start at childhood and should be an integral part of the curriculum in the schools. This article presents the educational program "Ergonomics,…Movement and Posture" (EMP), which is taught in elementary schools by Physical Education (PE) students of the Kibbutzim College of Education in Israel, as part of their practicum. Although there has been no formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the program, so far, participating children, their parents, the teachers and the principles have offered positive feedback.
Keywords: Children, curriculum, ergonomics and physical education, posture
Abstract: In this article, the authors explore the applications of focus groups to rehabilitation and disability research. Key issues in designing focus group research (e.g., methodological considerations, strategies for conducting focus groups, data analysis procedures) are highlighted. The authors then discuss specific considerations for conducting focus groups with people with disabilities. The article concludes with a review of three research studies in rehabilitation that used a focus group methodology.