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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: Objective: Identifying the relationship between workload content and health complaints would likely aid the establishment of preventative health care strategies. Participants: The study population consisted of 137 male workers from a pharmaceutical company. Methods: The workloads of the target subjects were divided into three groups (A, B, and C+D) according to the scores of a self-administered questionnaire. The results of General Health Questionnaire (GHQ, 12 items version) for assessing health complaints were…also analyzed. Results: The percentages of workers who reported feelings of stress in response to overtime work, irregular work, business trips, nighttime work, no rest and/or no nap, mental workload, and physical workload were 22.6%, 15.3%, 2.9%, 8.0%, 13.9%, 58.3%, and 18.2%, respectively. The significant odds ratio of workload predicting health complaints was 6.9 for subjects in group B and 13.9 for subjects in group C+D. Among them, the significant odds ratios of mental workload predicting health complaints and a positive GHQ were 5.7 and 4.0, respectively. Having no regular exercise also resulted in ORs of greater than 3 for health complaints and a positive GHQ. Conclusions: To cope with the health complaints of workers, mental health support by reducing individual workloads is recommended.
Keywords: Workload, health complaints, general health questionnaire, questionnaire survey, cross-sectional study
Abstract: Purpose: To investigate whether improvement of range of motion (ROM) in persons with musculoskeletal disorders, mainly neck and back pain, was associated with a favourable development regarding physical disability, pain, and health-related quality of life (QoL), and whether such development differed between sick-listed and non-sick-listed persons during and up to 2 years after a multidisciplinary rehabilitation programme. Methods: Ten persons with full-time sick leave (Group I) and 49 with part-time or no sick leave…(Group II) at the end of a previous study participated. It was shown in that study that Group I had higher pain rating and higher subjective physical disability than Group II, with little or no improvement during and after rehabilitation. In the present study, all participants were evaluated with neck and back mobility tests: Disability Rating Index (DRI); Pain Intensity Rating on a visual analogue scale (VAS); and Global Self-Efficacy Index (GSI). Results: Cervical and thoracolumbar spine ROM were lower in Group I than in Group II from the start of rehabilitation to a 2-year follow-up. Only Group II showed a temporal improvement in ROM. No changes in DRI, VAS or GSI were found in parallel with corresponding temporal changes in any of the ROM. Conclusion: Group II but not Group I improved in active ROM during rehabilitation; further, in Group I active ROM in the cervical and thoracolumbar spine did not improve during the 2-year follow-up. Improvement of ROM showed no correlation with physical disability, pain or QoL.
Keywords: Back pain, disability, mobility, musculoskeletal disorders, neck pain, quality of life, rehabilitation
Abstract: Objective: Researchers investigated how one type of computer-based instruction (CBI) – Kurzweil 3000 (K-3000), was perceived to affect the reading, functional task performance, and academic self-perception of high school students with special needs. Participants: 16 students with special needs used K-3000 (assistive software that provides students with reading support) for six months to read assignments for their English language arts class and six teachers who had previous experience with integrating K-3000…into their classes were recruited. Methods: Data from focus group interviews of students and teachers were used. The advantages and disadvantages of K-3000, the factors that affected teachers' use of CBI and users' progress were explored. Results: After the regular use of K-3000, students and teachers reported improvement in the amount and speed of reading and increased academic self-perception, specifically related to reading comprehension and pronunciation. Teachers reported that lack of accessibility to technology, time constraints, and difficulties with class management were the major reasons that hindered CBI use in their classrooms. Conclusions: Student participants noted that CBI was helpful when they were engaged in functional activities related to reading and writing. The progress of students in self-perception, and the advantages and drawbacks of the K-3000, along with the mechanism of users' progression were described and discussed.
Keywords: Self-perception, reading, teaching and learning
Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the perceptions of student and staff nurses regarding training they received and their confidence in performing a variety of common manual patient transfers (MPTs), given that inadequate training may have implications for injury risk. Participants: Student nurses (n=163) from a mid-sized university and staff nurses (n=33) from a small rural hospital in the university's region. Methods: Participants were surveyed to determine which of 19 MPTs they perceived having…received training for and had greatest confidence performing. Results: The staff nurses perceived being trained on four MPTs; the same four they indicated they had the greatest confidence performing. However, nursing students were not trained on these MPTs at the local university, indicating an apparent disconnect in training practices between the academic institution and the workplace. Conclusions: It is suggested that a participatory ergonomics training approach may help to provide student nurses more opportunity to practice MPTs and help all nurses reduce work-related musculoskeletal injury risk and increase job satisfaction. Increased training time may also allow student nurses to gain greater mastery and confidence of skills prior to full-time employment.
Abstract: Objective: This paper aimed to assess rural-to-urban male migrant workers' HIV vulnerability and prevention needs in a Chinese context, specifically in the city of Chengdu, capital of the south-western province of Sichuan. Participants: The primary sample group were 23 male migrant workers recruited from textile factories and construction sites. In addition, a total of 16 key informants (e.g., factory managers, healthcare providers and policy makers) and seven community members participated in the qualitative…phase. Methods: Qualitative methods included semi-structured interviews with male migrant workers and key informants, focus group discussions with migrant workers and local community members, observation, and review of key policy and programmatic documents related to HIV prevention and/or migrant workers. Results: Findings highlight migrant workers' vulnerability to HIV for a variety of reasons. Their migrant status rendered them economically marginalised and socially isolated. HIV knowledge was poor and discriminatory attitudes towards infected people commonplace. Perceptions of personal HIV risk were low, even though study participants reportedly engaged in sexual behaviours that placed them at risk of infection. Conclusions: A number of interrelated factors contributed to male rural-to-urban migrant workers' vulnerability to HIV infection. Targeted HIV prevention programs for male migrant workers in Chengdu are urgently needed.
Keywords: Transients and migrants, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), risk, prevention and control, China
Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if these two commonly-administered isometric tests are accurate indices of effort. Participants: 34 healthy subjects were tested once giving a maximum voluntary effort and once attempting to feign weakness of 50% of maximum. Results: During feigned weakness sessions, 20 of 34 subjects (58.5%), produced CVs of 15% or less during the Leg Lift. At the 95% CI, the expected frequency of false negatives for feigned weakness is 42.3 to 75.3%…for the Leg Lift. At the 95% CI, the expected frequency of false negatives for feigned weakness is 51.9% to 83.3% for the Arm Lift. Conclusions: Neither isometric lift is appropriate for classifying validity of effort. Use of these isometric lifts should be discontinued for the assessment of effort.
Abstract: Objective: To determine if passing or failing statistically-based validity criteria during a distraction-based hand strength assessment is related to test behavior during a lifting assessment. Participants: 200 consecutive clients presenting for an FCE. Methods: The two testing protocols, one involving a hand strength assessment, the other involving an assessment of lifting capacities, were administered to assess the variability between repeated measures. Results: Clients failing two or more statistically-based hand strength validity criteria had…significantly more variability between repeated measures in the lifting assessment, p= 0.001 and 0.014 for right and left unilateral lifts, respectively, and p< 0.0005 for three different bilateral lifts. Conclusions: A pattern of performance related to the degree of variability in repeated measures protocols for these two distraction-based protocols is revealed. Passing or failing the hand strength assessment are each equally predictive of test outcome during the distraction-based lifting assessment. The failure of the validity criteria in these two distraction-based tests cannot be attributed to a history of surgery but, rather, is the result of abnormal test behavior.
Keywords: Pattern of performance, lifting assessment, validity of effort, functional capacity evaluation (FCE), maximum effort
Abstract: The assessment of work disability due to health problems is a difficult task because there is no straightforward relationship between disease and disability. As a result, there is wide inter-rater variability between physicians in assessing work disability. The aim of this paper is to discuss the sources of the inter-rater variability and to describe possibilities for its reduction. A model is presented in which the process of disability assessment, the instruments used and the role of…the assessor is addressed. On the basis of this model, the causes of inter-rater variability and suggestions for improvement are discussed.
Keywords: Work capacity evaluation, observer variation, theoretical model, outcome assessment
Abstract: Objective: To compare two postural interventions, a wrist splint and a Wrist Alignment Device (WAD) with a biofeedback mechanism. Participants: Nine right-handed healthy individuals participated in the study. Methods: Using both hands independently a 30-minute office-activity-experiment was performed that consisted of data entry, mouse clicking, text dragging, and mouse scrolling executed one after the other. Joint motion, tendon travel and productivity levels were measured. Participants wore a custom-made flexible electrogoniometric glove (FEG) as three scenarios…were tested; namely FEG – only, FEG – Splint, and FEG – WAD. Data analysis was performed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA. Results: The joint motion results produced insignificant differences (p> 0.05) between hands. Both hands showed larger overall tendon travel for the FEG – only when compared with either FEG – Splint or FEG – WAD experiments. Wearing the splint reduced the overall tendon travel by 24% and 10% for the left and right hands while using the WAD further reduced the overall tendon travel for the left and right hands by 51% and 42%. Productivity levels were similar across participants with respect to experiment task and type. Conclusion: The WAD intervention is the most suitable device to promote a comfortable and non-restrictive neutral wrist posture.
Keywords: Work related wrist/hand function, flexible electrogoniometric glove, word processing, biomechanics