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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: Increasing numbers of older blue collar workers are remaining in the workforce. However, the effect of age-related changes on older workers' job performance is not well documented. This study examined how older blue collar workers continue to perform physically demanding jobs as they age. The research question was: How do older maintenance workers adapt to their job tasks given age-related changes in functioning? Qualitative case studies were conducted on two older workers: a Custodian…and a Mechanic. Workers completed a Musculoskeletal Body Map and participated in multiple semi-structured interviews and work observations over a two month period. Triangulated data revealed that older workers self-initiated job adaptations for age-related and medical conditions that impacted their jobs. The most common job adaptations were means to reduce the physical demands of their jobs. Three other contextual themes emerged relative to the context of work and older adulthood: job content ("what's important in a job"), generational differences, and the broader role of work in older adulthood ("you can't separate home and work"). Findings are discussed relative to theories of successful aging and adaptation. Recommendations for managing and promoting successful aging for older workers are provided based on study results.
Keywords: Ergonomics, case study, successful aging, healthy work, gerontology
Abstract: The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore the meaning of work, causes of work-related musculoskeletal injuries (WRMIs), related psychosocial issues, and adaptation of ten occupational therapy practitioners. Data were collected using interview technique. Emergent themes suggested that the practitioners participating in this study perceived the meaning of occupational therapy as both helping others and providing a sense of identity and satisfaction. Combinations of work, patient and practitioner characteristics were associated…with WRMIs, which led to participation restriction and limitation in work duties, activities of daily living, and leisure and social activities. As a result, participants experienced psychosocial problems including depression and dissatisfaction. Participants generated adaptive responses to meet the occupational challenges and to improve their occupational performance. Findings supported the centrality of occupation and its impact on all aspects of the worker with an aquired disability due WRMI.
Keywords: Occupational therapy practitioners, meaning of work, occupational performance
Abstract: This article is the second of two articles to be published in WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation. The first article (Volume 30) focused on the barriers and facilitators that people with back injuries perceive and experience when returning to work after rehabilitation. The current article explores the adaptation process that these individuals experience when returning to their worker role. Qualitative research methods were used in order to explore the research question.…Participants were selected by means of simple random sampling and the data were collected by means of semi-structured focus groups. Some methods of adaptation to the worker role after rehabilitation included: taking control of yourself, developing competency in your worker role and being aware of and utilising your own choice of medical intervention. These results proposed the development of a conceptual model of adaptation that would aid Occupational Therapists in assessing a client with a back injury.
Abstract: This paper presents the results of a study to investigate the effect of computer monitor height on the neck muscle activity, user comfort and user acceptability for office based tasks in the seated posture. Ten subjects with intermediate level of computer-skill participated in the study. Three computer monitor height settings- high, medium and low representing respectively angles of sight of 15°, 30° and 45° below the horizontal at eye level were considered.…Electromyography recordings from the right and left upper trapezius muscles were obtained for each monitor placement. The ratings of user comfort and acceptability were also obtained for each of the monitor settings. Statistical analysis of muscular activity data showed that there was no statistically significant difference between the mean RMS values for the three monitor settings. Results of the study indicate that the overall comfort was significantly more for high monitor setting than for the medium and low settings. It was also found that the comfort ratings for the neck and the low back regions were significantly higher for the high monitor setting compared to the low setting. Data analysis of user acceptability ratings for different monitor positions showed that the high monitor setting was significantly more acceptable than the medium and the low settings.
Keywords: Electromyography, office work, seated posture, user comfort, computer monitor position
Abstract: Background: The impact of alcohol abuse on worker productivity is considerable and appears to be increasing over time. Although early screening and intervention may help prevent or reduce the damaging health and productivity effects of problem drinking, barriers to behavioral change may render broad-based prevention efforts ineffectual. This study examined the correlates of two potential barriers to changes in drinking behavior – underestimation of drinking and lack of knowledge of helping resources –…using data from web-based employee alcohol screenings. Methods: Anonymous screening data from 1185 employees of ten companies participating in the 2003 National Alcohol Screening Day were analyzed. The AUDIT, a 10-item screening instrument developed by the World Health Organization, was used to measure drinking behavior; employees' subjective assessments of their drinking were also obtained. Results: Over 53% of participants subjectively underestimated their drinking relative to their AUDIT results, and 58% of respondents did not know whether their medical insurance included benefits for alcohol treatment. Logistic regression analysis revealed that younger and male respondents tended to have the highest AUDIT scores and also (along with married respondents) were most likely to underestimate their drinking. Younger, unmarried respondents were least likely to be aware of their alcohol treatment insurance benefits. Conclusions: Current corporate efforts to curtail problem drinking among employees may not adequately address barriers to change. Targeting at-risk employee groups for alcohol screening and dissemination of information about health insurance benefits and treatment options is recommended, as is providing personalized feedback based on screening results to raise awareness of at-risk drinking and available helping resources.
Abstract: Due to the current demands of today's competitive and team-oriented workplaces, organizations are becoming increasingly dependent on assessing potential and current employee traits that go beyond skills and education. Contextual work behaviors, such as getting along with others, accepting supervision, and ability to adapt to changes, are proving to be salient factors in predicting overall successful employment outcomes. These contextual behaviors are often learned in childhood during the school years and by…watching parents and role models demonstrate behaviors related to work. Individuals with psychiatric disabilities often have a harder time than individuals who do not experience symptoms of psychiatric disabilities demonstrating positive contextual work behaviors. This paper will outline the importance of evaluating work personality using the Developmental Work Personality Scale for individuals with psychiatric disabilities.
Abstract: Occupational and gender differences were investigated in the relationship between burnout and musculoskeletal pain in the head, neck, shoulders, and back. Representative samples of lawyers, physicians, nurses, teachers, church ministers, bus drivers, and information technology workers in Norway (N = 4507) were analyzed using structural equation modeling. The exhaustion dimension of burnout was positively associated with musculoskeletal pain in all groups, and the strength of the relationship ranged from moderate to strong.…The disengagement dimension of burnout was negatively associated with musculoskeletal pain in five groups and only ranged from −0.15 to −0.42. Professional efficacy was slightly weaker, and inconsistently (i.e., both positively and negatively) associated with musculoskeletal pain in four of the groups. There were larger differences in the strength of the relationships between the seven occupational groups than between males and females within the same profession. Results suggest that burnout and musculoskeletal pain are related, but the strength of the associations varies according to gender and occupation. Overall, occupational factors appear to be stronger predictors of the co-occurrence of burnout and musculoskeletal pain than gender.
Abstract: The current study investigated the associations between work-related perceived stress and surface electromyographic (sEMG) parameters (muscle activity and muscle rest) during standardized simulated computer work (typing, editing, precision, and Stroop tasks). It was part of the European case-control study, NEW (Neuromuscular assessment in the Elderly Worker). The present cross-sectional study was based on a questionnaire survey and sEMG measurements among Danish and Swedish female computer users aged 45 or older (n =…49). The results show associations between work-related perceived stress and trapezius muscle activity and rest during standardized simulated computer work, and provide partial empirical support for the hypothesized pathway of stress induced muscle activity in the association between an adverse psychosocial work environment and musculoskeletal symptoms in the neck and shoulder.