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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: Background: Although return-to-work (RTW) interventions have been shown to be cost-effective, most previous economic analyses have focused on the insurer's perspective. Employers can also incur costs when supporting the RTW of their employees. Objective: To identify a key set of items for estimating the costs of RTW interventions from the employer's perspective, and to identify and value the costs and consequences of a RTW intervention. Participants: Employers with knowledge of the economic costs of RTW.…Methods: A survey of 10 workplaces with RTW programs was conducted. The survey consisted of semi-structured interviews with a human resources or occupational health and safety representative from each enrolled workplace. Results: The interviews were reviewed and from them key items were identified for estimating the costs of RTW interventions from the employer's perspective. Employers identified the following costs: medical, equipment, training and education, wage replacement and productivity, and claims administration when assisting an employee's RTW. Conclusions: Even in a jurisdiction with workers' compensation insurance, employers incur costs associated with RTW programs. It is important to consider these costs, from the perspective of the employer, when studying the cost-effectiveness of RTW interventions or programs.
Keywords: Economic evaluation, work disability, qualitative, direct and indirect costs
Abstract: Objectives: To investigate the effects of upper limb postures on discomfort score for repetitive gripping task. Participants: Eighteen right handed male participants volunteered in the experimental investigations. Method: The present study was divided into two experiments. A Full factorial design of 2 (Two shoulder rotation angles) × 3 (Three elbow flexion angles) × 3 (Three upper arm rotation angles) was used. The effect of postures on MVC grip strength, Grip endurance and on discomfort…score, for a repetitive task at 150 N ± 5 N with exertions 15 per minute was recorded. In a supplementary experiment, the EMG recordings were also taken for validating the effect of elbow flexion angle. Results: ANOVA showed that the main effects of postures were not significant on MVC grip, except elbow flexion (p < 0.001). The endurance time was also significant (p=0.0100) for elbow flexion and there was no effect of other postures. The second experiment showed that the effect of shoulder rotation, elbow flexion and forearm rotation was significant (p <0.001) on discomfort score. The EMG activity of the muscles also showed that FDP and ECRB muscles had maximum reduction in median frequencies of the EMG signals of the respective muscles at 45° elbow flexion angle. Conclusions: The main effects of elbow flexion angle, shoulder rotation and forearm rotation were significant on discomfort score for the repetitive gripping task of the present study.
Keywords: MVC grip strength, grip endurance time, EMG activities
Abstract: Objective: This paper provides an outline of the complex relationship among stress, unemployment, mental health, and participation in recreation activities as a possible adaptive coping strategy for people with disabilities. Methods: This paper is a result of a two-phase review of the literature. Phase one included review of articles that examined the relationship among unemployment, stress, and mental health outcomes for people with disabilities. Phase two included articles that examined the efficacy of…recreation activities as a means of buffering stress. Results: Research indicates a cyclical process that occurs when people with disabilities experience unemployment; this unemployment often leads to chronic stress which in turn leads to negative mental health, symptoms that create further barriers to unemployment. Recreation activities that are physically active, culturally relevant, and conducive to relaxation were found to be effective at reducing the types of stressors experienced with unemployment. Conclusions: A complex relationship among unemployment, stress, mental health, and participation in recreation activities as a possible adaptive coping strategy exists for people with disabilities. An understanding of the types of recreation activities that are likely to reduce specific stressors associated with unemployment may be beneficial to consider as part of a comprehensive treatment plan when working with individuals with disabilities as they engage in the job seeking process.
Abstract: Objective: Evaluate the validity of two self-report symptoms surveys with two disorder classification protocols. Participants: 100 graduate students at a private school in the Southwest United States. Methods: Study participants completed two self-report upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms surveys: a nine item 10 cm Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and a nine item Likert categorical scale anchored from "None" to "Very severe". Clinical examinations were administered using two musculoskeletal disorder classification protocols.…Results: For the nine body regions, concordance between the two self-report symptoms scales ranged from 0.49–0.75. Overall there was greater than 80% agreement for the two disorder classification protocols. Using either symptom survey with either disorder classification protocol provided high sensitivities and specificities (Youden's J ⩾ 0.70). Three of possible six symptom survey/classification protocol pairings provided high sensitivities and specificities across all disorder groups. Conclusion: In this graduate student sample, none of the self-report symptom survey-classification protocol pairings was demonstratively more useful than any other pairing for studies of musculoskeletal disorders among computer users.
Abstract: Objective: Belief in a just world (BJW) modulates people's abilities to cope with anxiety, fear, and life transitions and thus depression and its debilitating effects. Little is known about how Belief in a just world modulates these coping abilities in elderly nursing home residents or their levels of depression either. Participants: A sample of 354 cognitively able elderly nursing home residents in Lebanon was selected for the study. Methods: This study, therefore, explored elderly belief in…a just world (BJW-S) by gender and length of time in elderly homes in its relation to levels of depression as measured by the Geriatric Depression Rating Scale (GDS) and the Mini-Mental State Examination screening instrument for older adults. Results: The findings showed no main significant effects for gender or length-of-stay on level of depression. The chief significant difference found was for scores on the belief in a just world scale and levels of depression. Those who had high scores on belief in a just world scored low on depression, and vice-versa. Conclusions: Therefore, a strong belief in a just world seemed to act as a preventative or coping mechanism against depression from initial transition forward for elderly nursing home residents.
Keywords: Prevention mechanisms, life transitions, Lebanese, Mini Mental State Examination
Abstract: Objective: The purpose of this article is to describe the methodology used in order to develop the Model of Occupational Self Efficacy: An occupational therapy practice model to facilitate returning to work after a brain injury. Participants: Nine males and one female participated in the study. Methods: Face to face, semi structured individual interviews were conducted and data were analyzed using a qualitative approach to explicate patterns and themes. The study was…conducted in two phases, namely, Phase one described the lived experience of individuals with brain injury who had returned to work and Phase two described the development of the model by means of theory generation methodology. Results: Four themes emerged that reflected the lived experiences for people returning to work after a brain injury. (1) A sense of loss of former self; (2) Uncertainty about the future; (3) The road to acceptance and believing in yourself; and (4) Participation in occupation enables growth. The above themes contributed to the central concept called Occupational Self Efficacy that resulted in the development of the occupational therapy practice model. Conclusions: The findings of the study suggest that theory generation methodology is adequate for the conceptual development of an occupational therapy practice model.
Keywords: Occupational adaptation, qualitative research, theory generation methodology
Abstract: This case study describes a student occupational therapy (OT) program, the creation of a worksite assessment project as a part of a Community Connections: Partners for Learning and Service grant funded by Health Resources and Services Administration. The primary goals were to design occupation-based community learning experiences in a variety of rural community settings, so that students might benefit from participating in the community based learning and: based on the results, embed occupation-based learning…into existing occupational therapy curriculum. The components of the project and the ergonomics content of the OT education program are described; details of the work assessment are presented with analysis of data from the student evaluation of this project.
Abstract: Objective: This article examines how workers supported by outplacement services engage with an occupational transition through problem solving and learning. Participants: The participants were 23 mid-life redundant white collar workers with at least eight years in their sector, organization or occupation. The selected interviewees either participated in training to broaden their professional competence or did not make any such 'expansive' efforts. Methods: The study was based on narrative interviews, which enabled…a detailed cross case examination of individuals' actions and choices and how the process unfolds over time. Results: The results showed that people treat their job loss as a practical problem to be solved using various strategies. This problem-solving process is structured, with people passing similar crossroads defining particular challenges and opportunities giving people limited sets of choices. Conclusion: The results point to the significance of creativity and learning in occupational transitions.
Abstract: Objective: Brief, psychometrically robust questionnaires assessing work-related psychosocial stressors are lacking. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the psychometric properties of a brief new questionnaire for assessing sources of work-related psychosocial stress. Participants: Managers, blue- and white-collar workers (n= 628 at measurement point one, n=459 at measurement point two), sampled from an online panel of a German marketing research institute. Methods: We either developed or identified appropriate items from existing…questionnaires for ten scales, which are conceptually based in work stress models and reflected either work-related demands or resources. Factorial structure was evaluated by confirmatory factor analyses (CFA). Scale reliability was assessed by Cronbach's Alpha, and test-retest; correlations with work-related efforts demonstrated convergent and discriminant validity for the demand and resource scales, respectively. Scale correlations with health indicators tested criterion validity. Results: All scales had satisfactory reliability (Cronbach's Alpha: 0.74–0.93, retest reliabilities: 0.66–0.81). CFA supported the anticipated factorial structure. Significant correlations between job-related efforts and demand scales (mean r=0.44) and non-significant correlations with the resource scales (mean r=0.07) suggested good convergent and discriminant validity, respectively. Scale correlations with health indicators demonstrated good criterion validity. Conclusion: The WHC appears to be a brief, psychometrically robust instrument for assessing work-related psychosocial stressors.
Abstract: Objective: The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of organizational socialization levels of employees on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Participants: A total of 185 (70 female, 115 male) teachers were sampled at 27 primary and secondary schools. Their ages ranged from 23 to 55 years, with a mean (SD) of 36 (5.1). In this sample, 100 (54.1%) worked in primary schools, and 85 (45.9%) worked in secondary schools. Methods: A three-part questionnaire…was designed for the study. The research scales were self-report measures of organizational socialization, OCB, and demographic variables. The hypothesized model was tested using Pearson correlation analyses and multiple regression analyses. Results: The teachers demonstrated high level socialization (Mean 4.2, SD 0.7) and OCB (Mean 4.0, SD 0.54). Understanding, coworker support, and performance proficiency explained significant variance in organizational citizenship behavior; however, there was no relationship (p=0.286) between the organizational goals and values and OCB. Conclusions: The findings contribute to our understanding of the relationship between the level of organizational socialization and organizational citizenship behavior in educational settings. These findings suggest that high level organizational socialization supports organizational citizenship behavior in primary and secondary school teachers.
Abstract: Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the criterion validity and the diagnostic accuracy of the Four-Dimensional Symptom Questionnaire (4DSQ) regarding the identification of depressive and anxiety disorders in an insurance medicine setting. Participants: Our sample consisted of 230 individuals who applied for a work disability benefit due to mental health problems. Methods: Depressive and anxiety disorders were assessed using the 4DSQ and the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI). Internal consistency was determined…by calculating Cronbach's alpha values. Criterion validity was evaluated by regression techniques. A Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis was performed to evaluate diagnostic accuracy. Results: Of the 230 participants 109 (47.4%) had a current DSM-IV depressive disorder and 146 (63.5%) an anxiety disorder. The 4DSQ scales showed an excellent internal consistency. The depression scale of the 4DSQ had specific sensitivity for major depressive disorder. The anxiety scale was also sensitive for the anxiety disorders. The area under the ROC curve (AUC) indicated good diagnostic accuracy of the 4DSQ for assessing depressive and/or anxiety disorders: AUC-value 0.81 for both depression and anxiety. Conclusions: Although the 4DSQ shows good criterion validity and diagnostic accuracy with respect to depressive and anxiety disorders in applicants for a work disability benefit due to mental health problems, the feasibility of the 4DSQ as a screening measure for depressive and anxiety disorders is limited due to the high prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders.
Keywords: Work disability, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, criterion validity, screening
Abstract: Objective: Ergonomic practitioners commonly use observational assessment tools, also known as checklists, to identify job hazards with regard to musculoskeletal disorders. However, it is often difficult to determine how effective such checklists are at identifying jobs in which workers are at risk, which complicates resource allocation. A means of dynamically assessing validity is needed. Method: This paper focuses on a simple technique with which practitioners can assess the probability that a positive checklist indication…accurately identifies an at-risk job. The technique can also be used to study the effect of changes to the checklist and determine whether or not they improve the practical utility of the checklist. Similarly, by manipulating the role of different risk factors assessed on the checklist, it may guide hypotheses as to the relative importance of the risk factors. Finally, the paper briefly suggests the use of control charts to assess and manage inter- and intra-rater reliability rather than more traditional assessment methods such as correlations, Cohen's and Fleiss' kappa. Conclusion: The probability that a checklist correctly identifies jobs with regard to risk of musculoskeletal injury is a useful means of assessing the checklist's validity.
Abstract: Objective: This article presents a review of the current literature on knowledge transfer in the use of technology, amongst children and adolescents. Participants: Researchers, teachers, children, adolescents, and related stakeholders are the targeted users of this paper. Methods: A scoping review and detailed analysis of the review based on ergonomic outcomes of comfort, safety and productivity. Results: The review revealed very few studies addressing the knowledge use and transfer with children or adolescents in this…topic area. Current literature on knowledge transfer requires more rigorous evaluation, as well as use of explicit health, occupational and ergonomic outcomes. Conclusions: This paper concludes the need for a call for future research in the area of knowledge transfer to promote healthy and safe use of technology, in the population of children and adolescents.
Keywords: End-users, knowledge use, children and adolescents, technology, ergonomics