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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: To determine the proportion of MVC injuries occurring while working, and to compare the age, sex, injury, and season the collision occurred between those involved in work and non-work related MVCs. Methods: The Kingston and Region Injury Surveillance Program (KRISP), a subset of the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program, was used to identify MVCs occurring between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2007. Variables analyzed included the characteristics of the injured…patient, the type of injury, and factors associated with the collision. Descriptive statistics were computed and a non-parametric test for trend was calculated. Results: Work-related MVC injuries accounted for 4.6% of all MVC injuries reported in the KRISP database. Work-related MVCs occurred with greater frequency in winter months and injured more males than females compared to non-work related MVCs. Pattern of injury differed among males and patient disposition differed among both males and females. Conclusions: There are important differences in terms of patient demographics and factors associated with the collision between those injured in work and non-work related MVCs.
Abstract: Objective: A high work involvement is considered central in the burnout process. Yet, research investigating how high work involvement and psychosocial stressors relate to burnout is scarce. High involvement in terms of performance-based self-esteem (PBSE) refers to individuals' strivings to validate self-worth by achievements, a disposition linked to poor health. The aim of the present study was to examine longitudinally PBSE in relation to burnout while also taking into account work- and private life stressors.…Participants: The sample consisted of 2121 working women and men. Methods: Main- and mediation effects were investigated using hierarchical regression analysis. Results: The results showed performance-based self-esteem mediated partially between the stressors and burnout. Performance-based self-esteem was the strongest predictor of burnout over time, followed by private life stressors. Women experienced more work stress than did men. Men had stronger associations between work stressors and burnout, while women had stronger associations between performance-based self-esteem and burnout. Conclusions: Individual characteristics along with both private life and work stressors are important predictors of burnout. Factors associated with burnout differ somewhat between women and men.
Abstract: Objectives: To examine associations for sleep quality and quantity with metabolic syndrome (MS) and its five components in police officers. Patients or Participants: The study population consisted of 98 randomly selected officers (39 women and 59 men) for whom MS and sleep data were available. Methods: Sleep duration (categorized as short < 6 hours, long ⩾ 6 hours) for the past week and quality of sleep were collected by interviewer-administered questionnaires. MS was assessed using standard…criteria. Generalized linear models were used to assess associations between sleep duration or sleep quality and MS, and the mean number of MS components. Results: Metabolic syndrome was present in 22.0% and 2.6% of the male and female officers, respectively. Women with short sleep had a significantly higher mean number of MS components (mean=1.43) than those with longer sleep (mean=0.81, p=0.0316). Officers who stopped breathing during the night had more MS components (mean=2.43) compared to those who did not (mean =1.13, p=0.0206). Conclusions: Sleep duration and quality were associated with the mean number of MS components, particularly in women. Future research should examine these associations prospectively, in a larger cohort, exploring possible gender differences.
Abstract: Objective: Research has shown that comparatively few adults with Asperger Syndrome (AS) participate in the competitive work force. The purpose of this study was to gain in-depth knowledge about contextual factors, which contribute to successful labor market participation in some adults with AS. Participants: This study was conducted by indepth-interviewing six adults with AS working in the competitive job market in Switzerland. Methods: A developmental and hermeneutic narrative approach was used for data collection and analysis. Two…in-depth narrative interviews were conducted with each participant. A narrative analysis according to the theories of Paul Ricoeur was performed. Results: Results showed that participants received pre-vocational requisites during their childhood through parents and friends that provided a feeling of security in social contexts. For participants, a supportive school setting resulted in academic achievements. The narratives reveal participants' capacities for understanding and adapting to social norms. Participants' understanding of their own needs was essential to the successful labor market participation. However, disclosure is rare and social stigma is still present. Conclusions: This study showed that successful labor participation of adults with AS can be enhanced through adequate social support already in the early stages of an individual's lifetime.
Abstract: Objective: Occupational skin disease (OSD) is the most frequent work-related disease in most industrialised countries and poses a high social, economic and personal burden. However, to date no study has examined the illness perceptions of individuals with refractory OSD. Participants and Methods: Semi-structured guided interviews with 50 patients with OSD were conducted. Data was subjected to qualitative content analysis. Results: Most patients were not able to see the prodromal symptom-character of dry…skin or the involvement of psychological factors in the formation and maintenance of eczema. Patients rejected a personal accountability for the condition. Before being willing to act upon skin protection measures, external agencies (employer, insurance organisations) have to overcome a variety of perceived barriers. Previous negative experiences with skin protection often lead to the conclusion that these measures, in general, are not efficacious. Conclusions: In order to accommodate the needs of patients with OSD, health care providers need to be aware of what these patients' illness cognitions consist of, and how they interact with current preventive efforts. Many details of the patient's perspective are often overlooked, but need to be considered. Failure to do so may mean that well-meant interventions will not reach the addressed audience successfully.
Abstract: Objective: To describe the perceptions and experiences of individuals with brain injury with regard to return to work rehabilitation programmes. Participants: Nine males and one female who were diagnosed with a moderate to mild brain injury participated in the study. Methods: In-depth interviews were conducted and data were analyzed using a qualitative approach to explicate patterns and themes. Results: Two themes emerged that reflected the lived experiences of individuals with brain injury regarding intervention…programmes that influenced their ability to return to work after the brain injury: 1) Enablers of return to work programmes, 2) Barriers related to return to work programmes. Conclusions: Occupational therapy practitioners as well as rehabilitation personnel should identify and eliminate the barriers that impact on return to work intervention programmes, incorporate the enablers identified in this study when designing return to work programmes.
Abstract: Objective: Research is limited regarding occupational stress and coping strategies among academic physicians; professionals whose work situation includes the three areas of clinical practice, research, and teaching. The aim was to gain knowledge of stress-coping strategies used by academic physicians. Participants: Seventeen academic physicians employed at the University Hospital, Linköping, Sweden. Methods: Qualitative analyses were conducted of data from five focus-group interviews. Results: We identified eight different categories of coping…strategies, e.g. self-awareness, time management, to cut corners, and to be in control. We also attempted to fit the dimensions of coping strategies into the models proposed by Folkman and Lazarus and Beehr and McGrath, respectively. The strategies were predominantly used to prevent stress from occurring, to manage anticipated stress, or to handle stress when occurring. Furthermore, the majority of the strategies identified could be placed in the problem-focused category, which we divided in a behavioural and a cognitive sub-category and in a new cognitive problem-focused and emotion-focused category. Conclusion: The study contributes to a wider understanding of the stress coping strategies academic physicians use. Further studies are needed to determine the consequences of these findings in order to enable the design of measures to reduce and prevent stress among academic physicians.
Keywords: Occupational stress, coping strategies, psychosocial work environment, physician
Abstract: Objectives: To examine the nature and extent of persistent post-injury symptoms of persons who have experienced a work-related traumatic brain injury (WrTBI) in Ontario, Canada. Methods: Using a retrospective case series design, post-injury symptoms, occupation, and work factors were examined for WrTBIs among an adult population. Data were abstracted from medical records of individuals who sustained a WrTBI and were discharged from a referral-based outpatient neurology service between the years of 1998 and 2001.…Results: Of the 435 individuals who sustained a WrTBI, most were ⩾ 45 years of age and male. Approximately 50% had injuries to the head only, while others had multiple injuries. The most common post-injury symptoms were headaches (85.1%), memory changes (74.3%), and mood/personality changes (68.3%). A small subset of individuals reported very long-term post-injury symptoms, and a majority of individuals had not yet returned to work. Conclusions: This study profiles the demographic and clinical characteristics of an outpatient injured worker population with a history of WrTBI which provides a basis for the planning and implementation of assessment and treatment programs for this clinical population.
Keywords: Work, post-concussion syndrome, return to work, rehabilitation
Abstract: Objective: The study objectives were to perform a cross-cultural adaptation of the Work Role Functioning Questionnaire, a health-related work outcome measure, into Dutch and to assess the questionnaire's reliability and validity in the Dutch context (WRFQ-DV). Participants: 40 workers with a health problem (duration > one month). Methods: The WRFQ translation and adaptation were conducted using a systematic approach with the following steps: forward translation, synthesis, back-translation, consolidation of translations with expert…committee, and pre-testing. To evaluate the comprehensibility, usability, applicability and completeness of the translated questionnaire, a total of 40 interviews with workers with a health problem were performed. Results: The questionnaire translation was conducted without major difficulties. During the process, questionnaire instructions were modified and 5 items reformulated based on the participants' responses. Participants were positive on the comprehensibility, usability, applicability and completeness of the questionnaire, and also made suggestions for the further development of the WRFQ-DV. Furthermore, the study shows promising results concerning the psychometric properties of the WRFQ-DV (e.g. Cronbach's alphas for the subscales between 0.70 and 0.91, and good content validity). Conclusions: The results indicate that the cross-cultural adaptation of the WRFQ-DV was successful and that the psychometric properties of the translated version are promising.
Keywords: Psychometrics, validation, work outcome measure, health condition
Abstract: Objectives: Organizational support relates to an organization's readiness to reward increased work effort and to meet socio-emotional needs. This study investigated the various constructs of employees' perceptions of organizational support in the Indian context, with specific reference to the information technology (IT) industry. Participants: Thirty six semi-structured interviews were conducted from three different organizations over a period of four months. The participants were employed as Project Managers, Team Leaders and Executives in…these organizations operating in Pune and were selected via randomized quota sampling to reflect a mix of age, positions, genders and experience with organization. Methods: Qualitative methods were used in order to collect the data, through phenomenological principles. Results: Discussion with the participants led to the emergence of five different themes which influence employees' perception of organizational support. These were: materialistic support, supervisor support, building reciprocal relationships, Organizational justice and intentions to leave. Conclusions: This study provided a tentative starting point towards the greater understanding of the employee's perceived notion of organizational support. Based on the study findings, there is an imperative that the human resource department and organizational forerunners continue to use research findings to support IT professionals in various ways in order to improve their quality of work life.
Keywords: Organizational support, information technology professionals and performance
Abstract: Objective: Musculoskeletal injuries are recognized as an important health issue for farmworkers. This study aimed to assess musculoskeletal health in South Georgia farmworkers through an exploration of pain status, health beliefs, occupational tasks, work conditions, access to care, and demographics. Participants: Interviews were conducted with 83 farmworkers at pro bono medical clinics. Methods: Mixed methods interview topics, based upon an adapted theoretical model, included: work history, current work practices,…musculoskeletal symptoms, health beliefs, acculturation, general health, access to care, and demographics. Results: Pain was reported by 81.9% of participants. The low back (57.4%) and mid back (52.9%) were the most commonly reported sites of pain. Adapted model constructs were identified quantitatively and qualitatively. Open-ended responses described health beliefs, barriers to accessing care, and farmworkers' sense of responsibility to provide for their families. Conclusions: Data revealed that musculoskeletal pain is common and suggest associations with work tasks and conditions. Numerous barriers to accessing care exist and must be considered. Solutions may include farm-based prevention, enhanced education, improved measurement tools, and ongoing use of ecological models to guide research and interventions.
Abstract: Objective: Functional, interactive and critical skills to use and act on health information, i.e. health literacy, are central preconditions for decision-making. To construct a decision aid that strengthens women's abilities to make decisions during sick leave, knowledge is needed about factors that increase health literacy. The aim of this study was for that reason to explore and describe women's experiences of factors that contribute to their ability to make informed decisions about the process of rehabilitation…and return to work. Participants: Nineteen women with a period of sick leave during the previous 12 months participated. Methods: A qualitative design with a focus group methodology was used. The qualitative data analysis was based on five focus group discussions. Results: A number of factors emerged that were experienced as supporting. They were distributed over five qualitative categories. Trusting in, valuing and using one's own resources, taking the initiative and obtaining information were described as crucial to making well-founded decisions. Being coached by a professional or being supported by significant others were other factors that contributed to decision-making. The women also experienced that a trustful, transparent, continuous relationship with the professionals involved in the rehabilitation process contributed to well-founded decisions. Conclusions: The factors experienced as contributing to sick-listed women's ability to make informed decisions were both personal and environmental. Some have a connection with theories that conceptualize intentional relationships and self-efficacy. The factors may be useful as an initial source for the development of a decision aid for women.
Keywords: Health literacy, interpersonal treatment, rehabilitation, return to work, self-efficacy