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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: Objectives: The purpose of this article is to share the details, outcomes and deliverables from an international workshop on work transitions in London, Ontario, Canada. Participants: Researchers, graduate students, and community group members met to identity ways to advance the knowledge base of strategies to enhance work participation for those in the most disadvantaged groups within society. Methods: A participatory approach was used in this workshop with presentations by researchers and…graduate students. This approach included dialogue and discussion with community members. In addition, small group dialogue and debate, world cafe discussions, written summaries of group discussion and reflection boards were used to bring new ideas to the discussion and to build upon what we know. Findings: Two research imperatives and six research recommendations were identified to advance global dialogue on work transitions and to advance the knowledge base. Occupational justice can be used to support future research directions in the study of work transitions. Conclusions: Moving forward requires a commitment of community of researchers, clinicians and stakeholders to address work disparities and implement solutions to promote participation in work.
Keywords: Work disparities, occupational justice, occupational transitions
Abstract: This paper considers the importance of place in the conceptualization of transitions to work for persons with serious mental illness (SMI). A qualitative case study was conducted to explore the influence of place on access to employment for persons with SMI. In-depth interviews, focus groups, and demographic data collected from urban and rural residing individuals who experience SMI, mental health and vocational service providers, and decision makers across northeastern Ontario inform this paper. The results…highlight the primary theme, stuck in the mud, which explains how people with SMI, service providers and decision makers are stuck regarding employment. Ultimately, their being stuck creates a variety of place-related tensions and a tendency to settle for less in the area of employment for persons with SMI. The condition of being stuck in the mud is expressed as a metaphor depicting the existing tensions between ideas which govern provincial employment policy for persons with SMI and the mainstream or dominant discourse governing local organizations, programs and practices in the case communities and supports the need to consider place in policy implementation.
Abstract: Objective: To examine published case examples of occupational deprivation in relation to Wilcock's 1989 theoretical proposal that it is caused by economic and political systems, institutional policies, or advances in technology that displace workers. Case examples: Eleven accounts of occupational deprivation centering on access to or maintenance of a work role. Method: A thematic review of articles reporting access to or maintenance of a worker role as a major concern were located in an electronic…search of multiple databases using the keyword `occupational deprivation'. Results: While no examples pertaining to technological change were located, legislation enacted to protect national security or redress the ongoing affects of colonisation, a philosophy of punishing prisoners, and healthcare and employment structures were identified as causes of occupational deprivation. Conclusions: Economic and political systems and institutional policies are confirmed to cause occupational deprivation of worker roles in prison and indigenous populations, migrant workers and older female immigrants, young women displaced by war, refugees and asylum seekers, and people with disabilities. The ongoing economic burden of wasting human potential and the loss of cultural practices that support productive occupations are two negative outcomes.
Keywords: Health and well-being, barriers, occupational deprivation
Abstract: Objective: Currently no standard or universal outcome measure for return to work (RTW) programs exists making the evaluation and comparison of such programs difficult. RTW outcomes are often measured using nominal scales based on administrative data but these fail to take the perspectives of workers and other stakeholders into consideration. In order to gain that perspective this study was conducted to identify what outcomes are of interest and importance to RTW stakeholders. RTW stakeholders identified indicators…of successful RTW in order to develop a conceptual framework of successful RTW. Participants: A total of 24 RTW stakeholders participated, representing both RTW consumers and providers from Southwestern Ontario. Method: This study used a mixed-method integrated form of concept mapping, which qualitatively generates and interprets data, and quantitatively analyzes data using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis. Results: Participants generated 48 statements, which were subsequently clustered into the following six concepts; worker performance, worker job satisfaction, human rights, worker well-being, seamless RTW process through collaborative communication, and satisfaction of stakeholders other than workers. Conclusions: The results reflect the perspectives of stakeholders and suggest that RTW outcome measures are needed that not only evaluate all aspects of the worker's life, but the RTW process as well. Aside from confirming the inadequacy of nominal, administrative type outcomes, these findings imply that the actual RTW process is intimately tied to outcome. Implications and relevance are discussed for planning RTW programs and towards developing a RTW outcome tool.
Keywords: Return to work, conceptual framework, concept mapping, program planning and evaluation
Abstract: Objective: While individuals with intellectual disabilities can make valuable contributions in community workplaces, they typically experience low rates of paid employment. The goal of this article is to explore the reasons for the limited involvement of this population in competitive employment, provide a rationale for including individuals with intellectual disabilities as employees, and propose policy, structural and attitudinal changes that would be necessary to include them more meaningfully in the workforce. Methods: The authors conducted…a review of the literature relevant to the key theoretical concepts of disability, employment, organizational management and inclusion. Results: The analysis reveals a number of theoretical, philosophical, legal and business arguments for and against the inclusion of workers with intellectual disabilities as employees, and suggests %a number of system level changes needed to mitigate challenges to recruiting, hiring and retaining these workers. Conclusions: Changes to the employment situation for workers with intellectual disabilities will require major shifts in government policy, workplace practices and vocational preparation of youth with intellectual disabilities. Continued research is necessary to identify best practices.
Abstract: Background: Employment is a priority in the European Union, and it is essential to address the needs of individuals disadvantaged at the labour market on grounds such as ethnicity, age, gender or disability, to increase the opportunities for these groups to gain employment. The Council of the European Union recognize the important role of national organisations in increasing gender equality and the need to integrate a gender perspective in all policies. Gender equality perspectives should also,…according to the EU Plan of Action and Gender Equality be integrated in education. Objectives: To equip students in higher education with knowledge, about gender, age, disability and ethnicity in relation to employability, a European group initiated a project; Euro-Education: Employability for all (EEE4all). Approach: The project, funded by the European Lifelong Learning Programme, was aimed to develop and implement four course modules, each relating to employability with different focus: gender, age, disability or ethnicity. In this paper design, implementation, and evaluation of the course focused on gender, provided by the Occupational Therapy Programme at Linkoping University, is described. Conclusions: The students highlighted the importance of awareness and knowledge about gender theory and its application in relation to employability and client-centred approach.
Abstract: Objective: This article presents a student evaluation of a joint international education developed as part of a European project which sought to equip health care practitioners with the skills to support employability of individuals furthest removed from the labour market, disadvantaged on account of age, gender, migration or ethnicity. Participants: Thirty eight students out of the forty one students that participated in the pilot of four modules (NL, UK, SE, DE) returned completed digital…questionnaires (92.6% response rate). Methods: The study is descriptive by nature. A questionnaire was used to collect the data from students. Additionally students attending the module in the UK also took part in a series of qualitative interviews which sought to explore their experiences in more detail. These were recorded, transcribed and analyzed. Results: Students reported that joint education facilitates competence development. The competencies they identified (Information Communications Technology) were recognised as being key to enhancing employability of disadvantaged groups. Conclusions: The joint international education exemplified by EEE4all offers one model of how to build a responsive international curriculum to ensure that the workforce of the future is well placed to meet the needs of this changing world.
Abstract: Objectives: The European partnership ELSiTO aimed to develop understanding of the nature and processes of social inclusion for persons experiencing mental illness. Participants: Partners were from Belgium, Greece and the Netherlands with over 30 members including mental health service users, occupational therapists and other staff. Approach: A knowledge-creation learning process was used during four international, experiential, visits and local meetings, which included visiting and describing good practice, telling stories of experiences, reflection and…discussion. Results: The partnership developed understandings of the nature and process of social inclusion, including both subjective and objective aspects interrelated with the doing of daily activities in the community. Members' work-related experiences, illustrated through their stories, depict the subjective aspects of social inclusion as they are shaped and framed by the objective conditions within a variety of work opportunities. Experiences in paid work, supported employment and voluntary work may both threaten and enhance mental health. Features of successful (voluntary) work experiences are identified. Conclusions: The importance is revealed of looking critically at current understandings of work and to move beyond a narrow focus on paid work in order to provide a range of work opportunities that will empower the individual's potential and promote inclusive communities.
Keywords: Work, volunteering, social inclusion, mental illness, stories
Abstract: Background: Social firms are widely used in Europe as a means of affirmatively creating employment opportunities and training for employment challenged groups. These commercial businesses produce, market and sell goods and services to the public while providing opportunities for productive engagement, increased incomes, and social integration for their employees. Methods: This article presents a case study of a Norwegian social firm that was created to improve employment and functional outcomes for workers with mental…health disabilities and addictions. The case illustrates one model of social firm, and is used as the foundation for discussion of the relative contributions of social firms to employment outcomes for people who are marginalized in the labour market. Results: The social firm represented a major change in philosophy and operations for mental health service provision in the local municipality. Numbers of individuals served increased dramatically, and changes were observed in the extent and nature of participant daily involvement, and in outcomes achieved. This model brings participants into contact with the public, and has served to break down barriers and reduce stigma. Conclusions: Social firms represent a viable alternative for creating employment options and training and for enhancing social integration of people with mental health disabilities.
Keywords: Social enterprise, mental health, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: Objectives: Vocational rehabilitation (VR) plays a key role in bringing persons with acquired disabilities back to work, while encouraging employment participation. The purpose of this case study is to illustrate the systematic application of International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF)-based documentation tools by using ICF Core Sets in VR shown with a case example of a client with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Participant: The client was a 26-year-old male with paraplegia…(7th thoracic level), working in the past as a mover. Methods: This case study describes the integration of the ICF Core Sets for VR into an interdisciplinary rehabilitation program by using ICF-based documentation tools. Results: Improvements in the client's impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions were observed following rehabilitation. Goals in different areas of functioning were achieved. Conclusion: The use of the ICF Core Sets in VR allows a comprehensive assessment of the client's level of functioning and intervention planning. Specifically, the Brief ICF Core Set in VR can provide domains for intervention relevant to each member of an interdisciplinary team and hence, can facilitate the VR management process in a SCI center in Switzerland.
Keywords: Vocational rehabilitation, ICF, ICF Core Set, spinal cord injury, case study
Abstract: Objective: This feature article on knowledge transfer presents principles and strategies to support the development of short communiqués to end-users. Participants: Formal and informal knowledge brokers are the targeted users of the strategies. Methods: Research studies and conceptual literature in knowledge transfer informed the development of brief-Knowledge Transfer (b-KT) principles. Principles are explained and a sample of how they informed the development of KIT-Tip Sheets is offered to promote ways to use…principles in knowledge dissemination. Results: b-KT principles can be used as a framework to guide the development of short communiqués by knowledge brokers in work practice but also in the health, social and rehabilitation domains. In addition, these principles promote the participation of end-users in the development of knowledge transfer. Conclusions: Formal evaluation is needed on the use of these principles in achieving the uptake and use of knowledge by end-users.