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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 investigate how subjective perceptions of everyday occupations, activity level, day centre attendance, social interaction, self-mastery and clinical factors were related to how unemployed people with psychiatric disabilities (PD) envision a future worker role, also controlling for socio-demographic variables. PARTICIPANTS: 175 people with PD; 93 attended a day centre and 82 did not. Of the 93 day centre attendees 39 visited meeting place-oriented day centres and 54 attended work-oriented ones. METHODS:…Self-ratings and interview-based instruments were used to assess the view of the worker role, social interaction, subjective perceptions of everyday occupations, activity level, self-mastery, and socio-demographic and clinical factors. Non-parametric statistics were used when analysing the data. RESULTS: A few aspects of the worker role seemed positively influenced by attending a day centre, in particular a work-oriented one. High levels of activity (p=0.009) and self-mastery (p=0.024), being younger (p=0.004) and having less depression (p=0.008) were also associated with a more positive view of the worker role. CONCLUSION: In order to enhance a future worker role the individual's feeling of control in the rehabilitation process should be highlighted and possibilities for general activity engagement be offered. Since the findings indicate that most aspects of the worker role were not enhanced by day centre attendance community-based care should further concentrate on promoting this future role for people with PD.
Keywords: Activities of daily living, mental illness, work
Abstract: Research into mental health and employment has indicated that work holds multiple meanings for people with mental health problems. This paper reports findings from a phenomenological study which aimed to understand the complexity of these meanings by exploration of the perspectives of one individual who was considering returning to work. Data were gathered through a series of three interviews carried out over a period of 18 months. Three themes were identified – Beliefs and Values about…Work, Working with a Mental Health Problem, and Planning for the Future. Analysis and interpretation facilitated understandings of what work represented for the participant. What this study has contributed to the evidence base is a deeper understanding of the multiple meanings of work, and the varied roles that work may play in contributing to meaning and quality of life for people with mental health problems.
Keywords: Employment, recovery, meaningful occupation, longitudinal, case study
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To analyze the association between occupational factors (number of contracts and occupational category) and potential years of working life lost (PYWLL) due to non-work related permanent disability (PD). PARTICIPANTS: The study design was a retrospective cohort of 11,812 workers affiliated with the Social Security System in Spain that began a non-work related PD between 2004 and 2009. METHODS: The PYWLL was defined as the time in years between the age at which a worker initiates…a PD and age 65 or the age of reinstatement to a job. The PYWLL was analyzed by calculating the quartiles and using an approach based on a median regression. RESULTS: The difference in medians of PYWLL between men and women was 2.49 years (95% CI: 2.01–2.97); between skilled non-manual and unskilled manual workers was 1.88 years (95% CI: 1.08–2.69); between workers with three or more contracts and workers with a single contract in the period was 3.78 years (95% CI: 3.28–4.29). CONCLUSION: Women, non-skilled workers and employees that have had more contracts within the period of study are those with greatest loss of PYWLL. This suggests that individuals with poorer working and employment conditions could have more PYWLL.
Keywords: Social security system, occupational health, productivity
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The present study investigates the role of boredom within the Job Demands-Resources model. Although empirical evidence suggests that the incidence of boredom at work is widespread, the study of job boredom remains neglected today. PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected from 269 mass-retail workers, by means of structured face-to-face interviews. METHODS: Results of multiple mediation analyses partially supported our hypotheses. RESULTS: Boredom mediates the relationship between transformational leadership, low learning opportunities…and general dysphoria, while work engagement mediates the relationship between transformational leadership, low learning opportunities and job satisfaction as well as general dysphoria. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results confirm the suitability of conceptualizing boredom within the JD-R model and contribute to the ongoing conceptualization of both the boredom literature and the JD-R literature.
Keywords: Job demands-resources model, work engagement, retail employment, transformational leadership
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: The aim was threefold: 1) to describe the experiences of driving and implementing a workplace-based rehabilitation intervention in cooperation with the occupational health service (OHS); 2) to investigate which people received multimodal and/or vocational rehabilitation measures; 3) to find predictors of return to work (RTW). PARTICIPANTS: Altogether 779 employees on sick leave for 90 days or more with mainly musculoskeletal or psychological/stress-related problems, 90% women. METHODS: The HAKuL model was introduced, implying…an early team assessment at the OHS and good access to rehabilitation measures. The study is a prospective three-year study with a two-year follow-up. RESULTS: The rehabilitation intervention encountered challenges. Counter-measures were taken to facilitate coordination and communication. People with musculoskeletal problems often received both multimodal and vocational rehabilitation. Vocational rehabilitation was advocated for people who were under 55 years of age, and for those with stress-related problems. The strongest predictive factors for RTW were: having received only vocational rehabilitation and being under 45 years of age. CONCLUSION: The HAKuL model can be used in a wider context, but the study shows the need for coordination between multiple stakeholders. Supervisors should pay attention to people who have musculoskeletal problems and are older, as soon as problems emerge.
Keywords: Vocational rehabilitation, return to work, team-work, multimodal, musculoskeletal, stress-related
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many professional workers such as engineers and designers must read and comprehend graphics in the workplace. Many studies have analyzed the effects of background color when reading text, but few have studied its effects when reading graphics. OBJECTIVE: This study examines how different screen polarities and background colors can influence the reading and comprehension of graphics. PARTICIPANTS: 504 participants were selected by convenience sampling and divided into 14 groups. The experiment was performed in three…parts. Parts 1 had 2 groups; Parts 2 had 6 groups; Parts 3 had 6 groups. Each group had 36 participants. METHODS: In each of the three parts of this study, a combination of black and white graphics was used as a background. Three experiments were performed. Color was the independent variable; accuracy in reading/comprehending graphics was the dependent variable. RESULTS: Experiment One showed that test participants performed better in positive (black on white) graphics test than in negative (white on black) graphics test on the computer screen. Experiment Two showed that screen background colors also significantly affect the accuracy of graphics reading/comprehension on the computer screen. Experiment Three showed that performance improved when the color of the computer screen polarity was adjusted. CONCLUSIONS: Screen polarity can affect the accuracy of graphics reading/comprehension; screen background color affects the accuracy of graphics reading/comprehension; adequate background color as a contrast increases experiments the accuracy of graphics reading/comprehension.
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was first to determine internal consistency reliability of the Ono Decision Making Career and Workplace (ODMCW) questionnaire. Next, a comparison of the reasons for a professional career and workplace choices of occupational therapists (OTs) and speech and language pathologists (SLPs) was evaluated. PARTICIPANTS: Participants consisted of 174 women (89 [51%] OTs and 85 [49%] SLPs). INSTRUMENT: The ODMCW questionnaire contains 17 items each scored on a…5 point scale in 2 parts (Career Choice and Workplace). The ODMCW was distributed to participants of both professions. RESULTS: Analysis of the questionnaire revealed 4 factors that together explained 56.87% of the variance of Career Choice with moderate to good Cronbach's alpha coefficients ranging from 0.524–0.789. The findings for both career and workplace choice show differences between the two professional groups, where SLPs give more weight to the factor of employment terms and benefits (p< 0.01) as well as work conveniences (p< 0.001), while OTs give more weight to professional and academic stature (p< 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: These initial findings should lead to more studies within these professions and others, as well as in different cultural groups to further understand the reasons and motives for Career Choices.
Keywords: Career decision making, career choice, health professions
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Healthcare and social professionals working with patients with chronic diseases such as disorders of consciousness (DOCs) are at risk for developing burnout, a stress-induced occupational syndrome. The aim of this study was to evaluate burnout among professionals working with patients with DOCs in post-acute and long-term care institutions. PARTICIPANTS AND METHODS: Healthcare and social professionals were enrolled in 78 Italian institutions and completed the 22-item Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), which investigates emotional exhaustion…(EE), depersonalization (DP), and personal accomplishment (PA). RESULTS: 1149 questionnaires were returned. Respondents showed statistically lower level of burnout in EE, DP and PA compared to normative data of Italian healthcare practitioners (p< 0.001) and 41.7% showed high scores in at least one subscale. Working hours per week correlated positively with EE (r=0.150, p<0.001) and negatively with PA (r= −0.111, p=0.005). Mann-Whitney U and the Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to assess differences between groups. Nurses reported statistically significant higher levels of DP and lower levels of PA compared to other professionals. CONCLUSIONS: Professionals working with patients with DOCs complained moderate to low levels of burnout. A better understanding of the components of occupational stress may allow the development of a targeted strategy to prevent negative outcomes, enhance well-being of professionals who suffered burnout and, in turn, improve quality of life of patients.
Keywords: Healthcare, maslach burnout inventory, vegetative state, minimally conscious state
Abstract: BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Given the possible links between movement, fitness and injury, the goal of this study was to evaluate strength, endurance, and hip range of motion (ROM) (i.e. fitness); movement quality; and age in a population of firefighters. PARTICIPANTS: Male firefighters (n=282), all members of a major Canadian city fire department, volunteered to participate in this cross-sectional study. METHODS: Torso endurance, grip strength, pull-ups, hip ROM, movement quality (sum of 7 movement tasks…graded on a 0–3 scale), age, body mass, height, body mass index, and hip and waist circumference were assessed in 282 Firefighters. Relationships between variables were evaluated and compared to relevant populations (i.e. police officers, other firefighters, athletes, students and healthy males). RESULTS: There was no relationship between age and fitness or movement quality. Compared to other populations, our firefighter population had poorer torso endurance but similar grip strength. Larger body mass, waist circumference and hip width were correlated (p< 0.01) with poorer Total Movement Score. Back extensor endurance (Biering-Sorensen test) was found to have the strongest relationship with Total Movement Score in comparison to all other tests. Notably, the extensor endurance and pull-ups were related to five of nine tasks each. The magnitude of hip ROM asymmetry related only to the stand-sit-stand movement test. In general, correlations between variables were relatively low, suggesting that most of these variables are independent and/or unrelated to one another. CONCLUSIONS: Movement quality is not strongly correlated with traditionally utilized markers of fitness, nor is movement linked to age. This would imply that training should include movement competency components together with traditional fitness objectives.
Keywords: Hip range of motion, strength, movement quality, torso endurance, database
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of three ergonomic assessment tools (EATs) (RULA, REBA and Strain Index (SI)) in the assessment of non-fixed work through comparison to four occupationally relevant Borg 10 psychophysical scales: Lifting Effort, Grasping Effort, Wrist Discomfort, and Low Back Discomfort. PARTICIPANTS: Fourteen male rodworkers participated in this study. The participants had at least six months experience and had no musculoskeletal injuries in the six months…preceding their participation. METHODS: Psychophysical scale and video data were collected while participants performed non-fixed work on construction sites. Psychophysical and EAT outcome measure scores were calculated for a shortlist of tasks. RESULTS: It was found that the perceived Grasping Effort and Wrist Discomfort scales differentiated between the WMSD risks associated with rodworking tasks and SI was found to be more effective than RULA and REBA in the assessment of non-fixed work WMSD risks. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the findings of this study, it is suggested that SI be further evaluated for its ability to assess WMSD risks associated with non-fixed work tasks. SI presents results that have practical application to non-fixed occupations and differentiate between tasks based on the WMSD risks associated with the tasks.
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To present validity data for the Work Experience Measurement Scale (WEMS), an instrument measuring multifaceted work experience from a salutogenic health resource perspective as a contrast to the more common pathogenic risk perspective, by exploring WEMS relationship to established measurements that are positively related to health and work. A salutogenic perspective focuses on finding conditions and resources in life, for example at work, that can enhance the individual's health and strength, instead of those…causing illness and weakness. METHOD: This study was carried out in 2009 at a Swedish hospital with a web-based survey (WEMS) to 770 employees. Different occupational groups at the hospital participated. Additional questionnaires used at the same time were the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9), the Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale (SHIS), the General Self-Efficacy scale (GSE), and three questions about self-rated health, general well-being, and quality of life. RESULTS: Cronbach's Alpha of WEMS sub-indices were in the interval of 0.85—0.96. Convergent validity and discriminant validity of WEMS and its sub-indices were shown to be satisfying by correlations. In addition, WEMS demonstrated the ability to discriminate between groups. WEMS sub-indices discriminated even better between groups than the total index. CONCLUSION: The WEMS proved to be a workplace health promotion questionnaire that was able to measure experiences of work from a salutogenic perspective. The WEMS has a potential of being a useful tool in workplace health promotion to enhance positive human capabilities and resources to improve work performance.
Keywords: Work experience, measurement, scale, salutogenic, workplace health promotion
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: This article reports on a study of older employees of a large public service organisation and examines their experiences of employment and their intentions to retire. METHODS: This study collected qualitative data through focus group interviews with 42 participants. RESULTS: Key themes derived from data analysis with regard to influences on retirement intentions included: personal, organizational and legislative influences. CONCLUSIONS: The study concludes that organisations can retain their older…workers longer if they provide sufficient support, the work offered is satisfying, and part-time work is available. Regular review of employees' performance and satisfaction is required to maximize the productivity and retention of older workers.
Abstract: Today, managing an organization is concerned with many problems. Adopting proper strategies can promote an organization's survival. This study aimed at developing an appropriate HSSE Strategy for regional operation associated companies of Iran National Gas Company (INGS) using SWOT analysis. The analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of HSSE was carried out and according to the results suitable strategies were recommended. In this regard, senior and junior managers, supervisors, and…experts active in regional operation associated companies of Iran National Gas Company participated in SWOT analysis from HSSE angle. Then, they selected the most applicable SWOT factors pertaining to the organization. In the next step, these factors were weighted and scored. Based on the results four categories of strategies were developed including SO, WO, ST, and WT. Further examination showed that SO Strategies were the most applicable for the organization.
Keywords: SWOT, loss prevention, strategic planning, INGC, organization
Abstract: Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is a collection of statistical techniques used to determine the degree to which a proposed theoretical model is supported by data. SEM has been growing in various disciplines as well as in rehabilitation research. It is the goal of this introduction to provide a conceptual overview of SEM. This statistical technique can facilitate a better understanding of large data sets involving theoretical models that have become more frequent in this discipline.