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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: There is little data available on job stress dimensions and their relationship to musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) among Iranian nurses. OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to investigate job stress dimensions and examine their relationship to MSDs among nurses of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS) hospitals. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 385~randomly selected nurses of SUMS participated. The Persian version of Job Content Questionnaire (P-JCQ) and Nordic MSDs questionnaire were…used for data collection. Descriptive statistics and Mann-Whitney U test were applied for data analysis. RESULTS: Decision latitude and social support dimensions had low levels, but psychological and physical job demands as well as job insecurity dimensions had high levels among the nurses. 89.9% of the subjects experienced some form of MSDs during the last 12 months. Lower back symptoms were the most prevalent problem reported (61.8%). Physical isometric loads was the only sub-scale that had significant relationship with MSDs. CONCLUSIONS: In the majority of cases, subjects were exposed to high levels of job stress. MSDs prevalence was high. Based on the results, any interventional program for MSDs prevention should focus on reducing physical and psychological job demands as well as increasing decision latitudes.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Bus driving is a typically male occupation undergoing a process of feminization. Although men remain a majority, women's integration has raised some questions, namely, related to work organization or its impact on health. OBJECTIVE: This paper focuses on the contributions of assuming a gender perspective in the analysis of the bus driving occupation and the conditions under which it is performed. PARTICIPANTS: Twenty female and 158 male bus drivers. METHODS: Qualitative and quantitative approaches were combined. Ergonomic…work analysis and individual interviews were used, as well as INSAT (Work and Health Questionnaire). RESULTS: Difficulties inherent to the work activity were highlighted, in terms of working hours and management of "peripheral tasks", with implications for the balance between professional and personal life. These difficulties were reported differently by men and women, although both made themselves clear about the impact on their career and health. CONCLUSIONS: Taking gender into consideration has enabled an enrichment of the questions that guide the analysis of this work activity, and contributed to a new perspective on the work performed by this occupational group as well as a new approach to study the history of the transport industry by proposing as focus of analysis issues related to "gender mobility".
Keywords: Typically male job, working hours, ergonomic work analysis, professional and personal life reconciliation, health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many people across the world believe that employment decisions are based on merit, on factors related to job knowledge, skills or abilities. People believe that decisions are biased or discriminatory if based on demographic criteria such as gender, race, caste, community, creed etc… unrelated to the job. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to explore the covert motives that might exist amongst senior managers when recruiting their desired candidates. PARTICIPANTS: Sixty senior managers belonging…to two international corporations based in western India participated. METHODS: Using the Theory of Planned Behavior as the theoretical foundation qualitative data was obtained through in-depth interviews with the sixty participants and analyzed using content analysis. RESULTS: Content analysis based on the Theory of Planned Behavior revealed five main strategies of covert recruitment practices: fulfilling vested interests, obligation creation, cultural bias, mirror reflection and status enhancement. The research findings indicate that 25% of those interviewed used premeditated strategies when recruiting their desired candidates which they concealed from coworkers. However in order to generalize the findings of the present study, a study with a larger sample size across different industries need to be done. CONCLUSIONS: Covert actions were central to employee recruitment in these settings and are likely fundamental to a more complete understanding of managers' recruitment behaviors beyond the context of this study.
Keywords: Recruitment, interview, qualitative analysis, India
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is well accepted that both multifidus and transversus abdominis muscles have a vital role in maintaining spinal stability. OBJECTIVE: To determine if multifidus and transversus abdominis could be strengthened by a six-week conditioning program and to establish if the amount of electromyographic (EMG) activity in external oblique differed in a lifting and holding task after the conditioning program. METHODS: EMG activity of external oblique during a lifting and holding task was obtained. Multifidus…cross-sectional area and transversus abdominis width were measured using real time ultrasound in six males and five females, with no back pain (mean age of 26.3 (± 5.4) years). The participants then performed a six-week muscle-conditioning program for multifidus and transversus abdominis, after which the EMG activity of external oblique and dimensions of multifidus and transversus abdominis were re-measured. RESULTS: Both multifidus and transversus abdominis significantly increased in size. There was significantly less activity in external oblique during a lifting task after the conditioning program, with no change in external oblique activity during a holding task. CONCLUSIONS: this study may indicate a link between the dimensional increase of multifidus and transversus abdominis, and the decrease in EMG activity in external oblique during lifting.
Keywords: Lifting, muscle conditioning and strengthening, EMG, real time ultrasound, spinal stability
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Employees working for office-cleaning companies are directly affected by the growing competition in this sector. They face a heavier workload and heightened psychological pressure. A majority of these workers are less qualified women working part-time, with flexible and inconvenient schedules. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study is to highlight the workers' strategies to deal with fast work, schedule requirements and the consequent difficulties to reconcile their professional and private…life commitments. METHODS: This study is based on in-depth interviews. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and twenty-five male and female workers responsible for cleaning offices. RESULTS: The themes generated from the results highlight a continued deterioration in working conditions in this sector. They also show that even approximate respect of the theoretical workload as calculated by the sub-contractor and the client company mainly depends on the workers' subjective strategies to accommodate increasingly fragmented work hours with their private lives. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, since these individual strategies are not enough to make up for the deterioration in work conditions, improving them requires sub-contractors and client companies to agree on organisational arrangements that take into account the reality of the employees' lives.
Keywords: Sociology of work, work time, cleaning sector
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The prevalence of telework among people with disabilities is not as great as the general population, despite the accommodative benefits of telework. OBJECTIVE: This study of employment and accommodation use patterns of people with disabilities investigates relationships between functional abilities, work location and nature, and accommodation use. PARTICIPANTS: Currently employed subjects with disabilities were recruited from client lists of research, technical assistance, and service provision centers, as well as through over…100 social networking venues focused on individuals with disabilities. METHODS: A national, cross-sectional survey was administered electronically. Details of accommodation use for 373 individuals were compared using Chi-Square distribution analysis. RESULTS: Those in white-collar and knowledge-based jobs were twice as likely to telework as other worker types, and teleworkers were twice as likely to use flexible scheduling. Only 47% of teleworkers reported telework as a job accommodation. Of those, 57% were satisfied with telework and 76% reported it as important to job task completion. CONCLUSIONS: Increased use of flexible scheduling, particularly among those who view telework as an accommodation, suggests the primary accommodative benefit of telework is to reduce pain and fatigue-related barriers to traditional employment. Relatively low satisfaction with telework suggests that it presents other employment-related barriers.
Keywords: Employment, workplace accommodations, remote work, work environment, assistive technology
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The aim of occupational health care management programs (OHMP) is to improve the health status of employees, increase work ability and reduce absence time. This includes better coping abilities, work-related self-efficacy and self- management which are important abilities that should be trained within OHMPs. OBJECTIVES: To study the effectiveness of an OHMP including special interventions to enhance self-efficacy and self- management. PARTICIPANTS: Employees from the German Federal Pension Agency. METHODS: Effects of an OHMP on sickness absence was studied by comparing an intervention group and two control groups. A core…feature of the OHMP were group sessions with all members of working teams, focussing on self-efficacy and self management of the individual participant as well as the team as a group (focus groups). Participants in the OHMP were asked for their subjective evaluation of the focus groups. Rates of sickness absence were taken from the routine data of the employer. RESULTS: Participants of the OHMP indicated that they had learned better ways of coping and communication and that they had generated intentions to make changes in their working situation. The rate of sickness absence in the intervention group decreased from 9.26% in the year before the OHMP to 7.93% in the year after the program, while there was in the same time an increase of 7.9% and 10.7% in the two control groups. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that OHMP with focus on self-efficacy and self management of individuals and teams are helpful in reducing work absenteeism.
Keywords: Focus group, team training, prevention, health status, sickness absence
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The German health care system has undergone radical changes in the last decades. These days health care professionals have to face economic demands, high performance pressure as well as high expectations from patients. To ensure high quality medicine and care, highly intrinsic motivated and work engaged health care professionals are strongly needed. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine relations between personal and organizational resources as essential predictors for work engagement of German health care professionals. METHODS: This investigation has a cross-sectional questionnaire study design. Participants were a sample…of hospital doctors. Personal strengths, working conditions and work engagement were measured by using the SWOPE-K9, COPE Brief Questionnaire, Perceived Stress Questionnaire, COPSOQ and Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. RESULTS: Significant relations between physicians' personal strengths (e.g. resilience, optimism) and work engagement were evaluated. Work related factors showed to have a significant influence on work engagement. Differences in work engagement were also found with regard to socio-demographic variables. CONCLUSION: Results demonstrated important relationships between personal and organizational resources and work engagement. Health care management needs to use this information to maintain or develop work engaging job conditions in hospitals as one key factor to ensure quality health care service.
Keywords: Health care, optimism, organizational resources, resilience, work engagement
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The link between work distress and negative mental health outcome is an emergent topic in the scientific literature. The studies that evaluated the risk of work-related psychopathologies in the different job sectors have obtained so far controversial and inconclusive results. The identification, by means of standardized evaluation tools, of the work activities at higher risk of poor mental health is a relevant target for the occupational psychiatry and medicine. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the…relationship between the psychosocial work conditions and work related psychiatric disturbances and to verify the relationship between the higher pathogenic effect of work and specific job activities. PARTICIPANTS: A six-month diagnostic trial was conducted on 234 patients (35.4% women and 64.6% men). METHODS: Psychiatric diagnoses were according to DSM-IV criteria; anxious and depressive dimensions were studied by means of Hamilton-Anxiety-Scale and Hamilton Scale for Depression; psychosocial work environments and bio-psycho-social features were measured by Naples-Questionnaire of Work Distress. Groups with higher and lower work-related pathogenesis were compared and their distribution among specific job activities was evaluated. RESULTS: Mood disorders were strongly linked to negative work environment. Patients with severe bullying obtained higher scores on Hamilton-Anxiety-Scale and Hamilton Scale for Depression than those with lower work-pathogenesis. The highest scores on Naples-Questionnaire of Work Distress were related to mood disorders, to poorer bio-psycho-social functioning and to higher work etiology. No significant relationship between work activities and work-related psychopathologies was found. CONCLUSION: Workplace bullying is predictive of work-related psychiatric disturbances with more severe clinical features and bio-psycho-social consequences. No significant differences were found about the relationship between work-related psychopathologies and work activities.
Keywords: Bullying at work, job stress, work environment, psychiatric assessment, bio-psycho-social functioning