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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 aim of this review was to understand and synthesize the realm of knowledge on intermittent work capacity (IWC) about strategies to support work sustainability. Specifically, this review focused on literature that examined productive work with individuals who have chronic pain due to Fibromyalgia, Breast Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Methods: A scoping review of research conducted across 10 databases. Nature of the knowledge base on return to work barriers and…strategies and future recommended strategies needed to support persons with IWC in maintaining work participation were charted and thematically analyzed and organized into micro, meso and macro categories. Results: Majority of the knowledge base reflects factors impeding and facilitating employment or re-employment at the micro level. At the micro level, self advocacy was a strategy that persons with IWC used to maintain employment and navigate stigmatizing work environments to meet their needs. At the meso level education and knowledge sharing with employers to increase awareness was underscored; at the macro level introduction of new policies was recommended. Conclusions: These findings suggest the need for future greater examination of the dialectical relationships across micro, meso and macro level strategies to overcome work disparities for persons with IWC.
Keywords: Work, fibromyalgia, breast cancer, MS, HIV
Abstract: Objective: This review sought to synthesize existing evidence on work capacity assessments and to identify the knowledge supporting their use in return to work practice and future research. Methods: A scoping review was conducted identifying studies examining assessments used in return to work. Studies published before 1986 and studies not written in English were excluded. A five point relevancy criteria was used to establish the fit of articles with the research question. Articles were…thematically analyzed into components of the PEO Model, proposed future research, and areas of vested interest. Results: Forty four articles met the criteria for inclusion. For over twenty five years, work capacity assessment literature has remained focused on the individual's physical work performance capacities. Gaps were identified in the lack of qualitative research and incorporation of person, occupation, and environmental dimensions in evaluation of work capacity. Future research recommendations emphasize the need for knowledge generation on work modification and investigation of psychosocial factors that impact work capacity and return to work yet only minimal progression is evident in these areas in the literature reviewed. Conclusion: The limited consideration of the occupation and environmental dimensions in returning to work and the global interest in work capacity assessment highlight the need for the development of contextually based assessment tools. Assessment needs to move toward the incorporation of environmental and occupational aspects in addition to the person dimension in a culturally transcendent manner.
Abstract: Objective: Persons with brain injury experience a shift in their self identity that is underpinned by work loss and changes to their worker role. However, little is known on how to assist a worker with a brain injury re-establish their occupational identity. Thus, the objective of this article is to present the results of a scoping review undertaken to examine the literature on occupational identity and self identity after a brain injury. Methods: A scoping review was performed using…the keywords traumatic, acquired brain injury, occupational, and self identity. Articles were narrowed through three phases which involved reviewing articles to ensure a thorough discussion of identity after a brain injury was included and to highlight the research questions. Results: In total 16 articles and 3 theses were included. No articles were retrieved on occupational identity after a brain injury. Fourteen articles discussed the loss of self identity experienced after a brain injury while three articles highlighted rehabilitation programs. Conclusions: Research indicates there are extensive changes to identity after a brain injury and this impacts returning to previous occupations. This knowledge can further our understanding of returning to occupations after a brain injury and the impact on occupational identity.
Keywords: Head injury, identity, rehabilitation, former occupations
Abstract: Objective: This personal reflection on occupational transitions is based on the life stories of two of the interesting people I met while in Chile, one in Santiago and the other in my travels to San Pedro de Atacama and how their stories have aided in strengthening my knowledge of occupational transitions. Participants: Purposeful restructuring of one's life is key to developing identity and meaningful engagement in daily and occupational life. Methods: Both Mauricio and Francisco share, through their…occupational transition self-narratives, how they restructured their lives by finding out who they really were, as well as what was most important to them. Results: I believe that the consistent theme or catalyst of change within these stories is one of being unsatisfied with a current situation and as a result, making a conscious decision to recreate/restructure one's identity and sense of being. Conclusions: When seeking to both understand and apply a term like occupational transition, it will be important to not preclude the individual human stories, both told and untold, that will enable a more complete and compassionate understanding of occupational transitions for both researchers and clinicians.
Abstract: Objective: To explore career transitions using an occupational perspective. Participant: One man shared his views on career transitions to elaborate concepts on work-life balance, choice and meaning. Method: Narrative reflection and theoretical exploration of occupational concepts underscoring career transitions. Results: Three concepts are important to understanding career transitions, work-life balance, making meaning choices, and place. Conclusions: Further development in work transitions can be elaborated using an occupational understanding.
Keywords: Work-life balance, occupational perspectives, career transitions
Abstract: Objective: This article presents a reflection on four students' experiences on unexpected work transitions due to natural disaster in Chile. Participants: Discussions with locals encountered while traveling throughout Chile prompted the authors to explore the ideas of occupational identity and global stigma attached to unexpected work transitions. Methods: The authors present here, excerpts from reflective journaling and an exploration of factors affecting certain individual's ability to adapt and regain occupational identity that has…either shifted or been lost due to the effects of natural disaster. The authors explore both micro and macro level factors that may affect this occupational shift, and how attempts to maintain occupation after natural disaster is influenced not only by person factors, but largely by global perceptions of the country affected by natural disaster. Results and conclusions: Lastly, the authors reflect on this experience from a student perspective, the impact it has on emerging occupational therapists, and the need for more focused research concerning global stigma and its cascading effects.
Keywords: Unexpected work transition, stigma, natural disaster, occupational identity
Abstract: Objective: To examine micro and macro influences on transitions from paid work to volunteerism. Participants: Narrative life stories from the people of Chile after a natural disaster. Method: Personal reflection on lived experiences in work transitions and theoretical concepts in occupational transitions. Result: Tensions at the micro and macro levels influence transitions and decisions to make significant transitions in work. Conclusions: Unexpected and unanticipated work transitions open the door to personal reflection…and in this case an individual's sense of perceived inaction on the institutional level directed action on the individual level. Thus, confirming suggestion that a dialectical relationship of mutual influence exists between micro and macro level occupational transitions when unanticipated major life and work transitions transpire.
Keywords: Occupational transitions, reflection, macro and micro factors, volunteerism
Abstract: Objective: To explore the work transitions of Chilean women. Participants: Observations and dialogue of Chilean women and their experiences in current and past work. Method: A personal and historical reflection to understand the experiences of work for Chilean women. Results: Exploring work transitions requires an understanding of the macro level historical impact on the participation of women in work in Chilean society. Conclusions: Macro level factors such as participation in the free labour market economy ultimately…impacts on the individual choices of the women of Chile regarding their opportunities to transition into productive paid employment. The understanding of work transitions must consider the influences of the labour market economy.
Keywords: Labour market economy, work transitions, gender
Abstract: Objective: The September 11, 1973 Pinochet military coup marks the anniversary of a changed way of life for everyone in Chile and has influenced people around the world. This paper provides a reflection on the social, political, and personal injustices faced by the women of Chile during a vicious dictatorship, through the depiction of an Arpillera. Participants: This paper unfolds the women's experience of occupational transitions and how they shared their stories of injustices to the…world at a time when almost all other voices of protest had been silenced. Method: A narrative and historical reflection is used to offer an interpretation of the experiences of transitions among these women. Conclusion: Through the art of survival and a shared mission, the women of Chile worked outside of the traditional political system to effect political change.
Keywords: Occupational transitions, occupational injustice, social injustice, occupational work transitions
Abstract: Objective: This paper offers a reflection on temporal routines that underscore daily work life and work transitions. Participants: This reflection includes views of a Canadian student who examines work transitions through lived experiences and observation of the Chilean work/home routine. Method: A narrative reflection on lived experience is used to examine 9 to 5 work transitions. Results: There is a blending of work and daily life routines that provide a balance for workers in Chile…and there are differences across countries in the valuing of work and daily life routines. Conclusions: Narrative reflections about work and work transitions can highlight differences at the macro level that can yield personal insights into challenges in transitioning into work for new immigrants.
Abstract: Objective: This paper is a reflection on work transitions in an international context. Participants: Seasonal employees and employer of the winery Emiliana. Methods: The following is a personal reflection by a Canadian occupational therapy student after a recent trip to Chile. Results and conclusions: The commitment to social responsibility by the winery Emiliana guided the reflection on work transitions of seasonal employees and the employer's provision of services to improve employee's…quality of life.
Keywords: Commitment to social responsibility, quality of life, seasonal work