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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: Upper limb musculoskeletal complaints are common among certain health professionals. We report two cases, both involving technicians working in a diagnostic tuberculosis laboratory in Hong Kong. A work process evaluation suggest that the need to repeatedly open and close small bottles, as well as to work for prolonged periods of time in confined areas, could be related to the workers' clinical presentation. The cases are also compatible with the diagnosis of repetitive strain injury (RSI) of…the upper limb, but this term is not commonly used nowadays because of various definitional issues. A review of the various diagnostic issues in RSI is presented.
Keywords: Case study, upper limb musculoskeletal complaints, laboratory technicians
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is little health specific literature on returning nurses with injuries to work despite the high incidence of injuries and the workforce shortages of these professionals. OBJECTIVE: To identify enabling factors and barriers to return-to-work for nurses with injuries from the perspective of return-to-work coordinators. PARTICIPANTS: Workplace return-to-workcoordinators employed in a health or disability facility who had worked on a rehabilitation case with a nurse with injuries in the past 12…months in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. METHOD: Five focus groups were conducted with 25 return-to-work coordinators from 14 different organisations, representing different health sectors (aged, disability, public and private hospital and community health) in metropolitan and rural areas of NSW, Australia. RESULTS: This study reports findings specifically relating to the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries. Four key themes were identified: suitable duties; supernumerary positions; nurse specialisation and tailoring of return-to-work plans. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified that return-to-work coordinators were resourceful and innovative in their approach to the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries and highlighted the importance of including clinical duties in any return-to-work program and of tailoring the return-to-work to the nurses' work and personal circumstances.
Keywords: Suitable duties, workplace based return-to-work, health sector, qualitative
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Early graduate occupational therapists (OTs) and physiotherapists (PTs) are routinely employed in work injury management and prevention in Australia. However, our understanding is limited about employer requirements for early graduates entering the field, and how commencing practitioners manage transition to practice. In addition, employers have expressed concerns anecdotally about the preparedness of early graduates for work injury management and prevention. However, evidence is limited about early gradutate preparedness for the field.…OBJECTIVES: The study aimed to develop a detailed qualitative account of the perceptions of employers and early graduates on the attributes required of early graduates in work injury management and prevention, and processes for effective transition to practice in this field. METHOD: A purposive sample of 12 employers and 12 early graduates in work injury management and prevention participated in semi-structured interviews. Questions to employers focused on recruitment, supervision and readiness for practice. Questions to early graduates focused on challenges in transition and effective learning methods. Transcripts were analysed by Leximancer™ and supported by manual coding and synthesis. RESULTS: Four themes with findings were, 1) 'Job and workplace requirements'; skills required by employers and support needed for early graduates, 2) 'Learning for work injury management and prevention'; options for early graduate development and learning methods early graduates found effective, 3) 'Employer expectations of early graduates in transition to work injury management and prevention', responses to transition; and 4) 'Early graduate perceptions on transition to work injury management and prevention'; early graduates responses to transition. CONCLUSION: Findings for employers and early graduates were similar to those expected in other areas of practice for OTs and PTs. Work injury management and prevention skills were not expected of early graduates by employers. Employers and early graduates shared similar views that clinical education in work injury management and prevention was useful to early graduates entering this field. Physiotherapy employers considered PT early graduates not yet ready for work injury management and prevention.
Keywords: Work injury management and prevention, early graduates, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, occupational health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Workplace absenteeism is still a curse for developed countries, and more systematic practices need to be adopted to address this issue. OBJECTIVE: To review the literature on best practices for managing work absences related to musculoskeletal or common mental disorders. METHODS: A review was conducted by performing a search in bibliographic databases and on work-disability research institute websites. Recommendations regarding work-absence management and return-to-work practices were extracted from all the retained…documents and organized within a chronological framework. RESULTS: In total, 17 documents were analyzed, leading to identification of common work-absence management and return-to-work practices, the importance of a worker support approach, and recommended roles and responsibilities for stakeholders. These practices were then integrated into a six-step process: (1) time off and recovery period; (2) initial contact with the worker; (3) evaluation of the worker and his job tasks; (4) development of a return-to-work plan with accommodations; (5) work resumption, and (6) follow-up of the return-to-work process. CONCLUSIONS: Based on this review, we constructed a comprehensive work-absence management and return-to-work process designed to assist organizations. Our results indicate that such a process must be included within a broader policy of health promotion and job retention. Adaptations will be required for implementation in the workplace.
Keywords: Absenteeism, mental illness, pain, organizational policy, work disability
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is well established that environmental factors can have impact upon an injured person's recovery and return-to-work outcomes. To date, there has been no cohesive model to provide theoretical understanding of the way in which these divergent factors combine to create disability behaviours. OBJECT: Development of a conceptual model for understanding the development of disability behavior. METHODS: Interpolation from existing neuroplasticity theory to observed behaviors and studies of behavior in the…workers' compensation environment, including existing research concerning predictors for disability. RESULTS: The paper describes a conceptual model for understanding instances of disability that are not necessarily attributable to physical harm. Preliminary testing provides support for the model. CONCLUSIONS: Factors that contribute to the formation of a neural network supporting the behavior of learned disability are described. From that description, intervention methods to prevent or resolve so-called "needless disability" are discussed.
Keywords: Neuroplasticity, disability management, return to work