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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: A challenge facing stakeholders is the identification and translation of relevant high quality research to inform policy and practice. This study engaged academic and community stakeholders in conducting a best evidence-synthesis to identify modifiable risk and protective worker factors across health conditions impacting work-related absence. OBJECTIVES: To identify modifiable worker disability risk and protective factors across common health conditions impacting work-related absence. METHODS: We searched Medline, Embase, CINHAL, The Cochrane Library, PsycINFO,…BusinessSourceComplete, and ABI/Inform from 2000 to 2011. Quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods systematic reviews of work-focused population were considered for inclusion. Two or more reviewers independently reviewed articles for inclusion and methodological screening. RESULTS: The search strategy, expert input and grey literature identified 2,467 unique records. One hundred and forty-two full text articles underwent comprehensive review. Twenty-four systematic reviews met eligibility criteria. Modifiable worker factors found to have consistent evidence across two or more health conditions included emotional distress, negative enduring psychology/personality factors, negative health and disability perception, decreased physical activity, lack of family support, poor general health, increased functional disability, increased pain, increased fatigue and lack of motivation to return to work. CONCLUSIONS: Systematic reviews are limited by availability of high quality studies, lack of consistency of methodological screening and reporting, and variability of outcome measures used.
Keywords: Disability prevention, risk and protective factors, occupational health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Research suggests that health is an important determinant of re-employment. However, the association between specific physical health components, such as muscular fitness, and re-employment has not been well studied. OBJECTIVE: In a three-year follow-up of unemployed people, we investigated whether muscular fitness is associated with re-employment. METHODS: In 2002–2005, unemployed people (n=130) who were participants in active labour market policy measures were recruited to participate in a Career Health Care (CHC)…project. Data on background characteristics and muscular fitness were collected in 2002/2003 using a questionnaire and laboratory measurements. Clientship in the CHC lasted for three years, and at its end, participants' employment status was assessed by a questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to investigate the association between baseline muscular fitness (repetitive lift, sit-ups, and squats) and re-employment after three years. RESULTS: The probability of re-employment within three years significantly increased with improved performances on muscular fitness tests (lifting, sit-up, and squatting) after adjustment for age and gender. CONCLUSIONS: Unemployed people with good muscular fitness had increased probability for re-employment as compared to those with poor muscular fitness.
Keywords: Health, selection, Career Health Care, unemployment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Over the last three decades Brazil has developed a new community-based mental health policy. In this context it is important to reflect on the offers of care for users, and especially on how therapeutic projects are developed by professionals. OBJECTIVE: This study was conducted with professionals working in community-based mental health services to investigate and understand their views on the construction of therapeutic projects and compare them with the concepts and theoretical proposals…in Brazil's Mental Health Policy Guidelines and a review of the literature. PARTICIPANTS: Thirteen professionals who worked in mental health services located in three cities of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted between September and November of 2009 to understand the views and mechanisms adopted by professionals in developing therapeutic projects. A bibliographical review laid the foundations for the theoretical research and for strengthening the basis of the data analysis. RESULTS: The professionals views are similar to those proposed in the relevant literature and Brazil's Mental Health Policy Guidelines. However, there is a need to invest in building new models to meet the needs of the population that requires mental health services. Clearer guidelines should be established to organize services and to provide adequate, sufficient training. CONCLUSIONS: The study suggests that attention and resources should be directed to strengthening training of professionals, and especially to qualifying the organization and administration of services in order to consolidate the new model.
Keywords: Mental health services, community mental health services, technological development, occupational therapy
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Manual material handling has been attributed as a major risk to human musculoskeletal system. Workers postural stability in these tasks is influenced by holding method, time and weight being handled. OBJECTIVES: The study attempts to investigate postural balance in five different commonly adopted load handling methods amongst female volunteers. METHODS: Ten women subjects performed manual material handling tasks by lifting 9 kg load in five different ways. Lifting tasks included (1) Upfront in palms (2) on…head (3) sideways (left) (4) sideways (right) and (5) in bag at back. Normalized electromyography signals (back and leg) and center of pressure displacements parameters were investigated as measures of postural control. RESULT: An increase in the medio-lateral and anterio-posterior center of pressure displacements and activity of back muscles was reported when subjects lifted the weight directionally. CONCLUSION: There was a significant influence of load position on center of pressure displacements and muscle activity and thereby on postural stability. Keywords: Balance; center of pressure; electromyography.
Keywords: Balance, center of pressure, electromyography
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The safe maximal lift for a person is often determined during a functional capacity evaluation. This determination is based upon observation of unsafe lifting techniques, however there is limited information on specific kinematic changes that assist a therapist's clinical reasoning and determination of the safe maximal lift. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate any change in kinematics between safe minimum and safe maximum floor-to-bench lifts during the WorkHab Functional Capacity Evaluation. METHOD: Twenty-eight healthy…participants (age range 18–22 years) were digitally recorded completing the evaluation. Lumbar spine, hip, knee and ankle joint angles were measured using Dartfish Pro-suite software at the beginning (0/3), one third (1/3), two thirds (2/3) and end (3/3) of the lift in descending and ascending phases. Paired t-tests were used to compare joint angles at each point of minimum and safe maximum lifts. RESULTS: Significant changes in joint angles occurred lifting safe maximum weight compared to minimum weight. The lumbar spine was in greater flexion [4.9, 95% CI 2.1:7.7, p=0.001]; the knee joint was in less flexion descending [−4.5, 95% CI −8.1: −0.8, p=0.004 (3/3)] and ascending [−9.7, 95% CI −18.3: −1.16, p=0.027 (0/3)] and hip flexion increased at all points of the ascending phase (p⩽ 0.021). The ankle joint was in less dorsiflexion while descending [8.0, 95% CI 3.4:12.7, p=0.001(2/3); 6.7, 95% CI 4.4:9.0, p⩽0.001(3/3)] and ascending [8.9, 95% CI 6.24:11.6, p=0.001(0/3); 3.6, 95% CI 1.5:5.7, p⩽0.001(3/3)]. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides insight into kinematic changes and support observations made by the WorkHab assessor in determining a safe maximal lift during floor-to-bench lifts.
Keywords: Kinematics, lifting, work capacity evaluation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The term "professional dance" comprises various dance styles. There are no studies which investigated work related traumatic injuries with regard to five different dance styles. OBJECTIVE: To define dance-style related differences of traumatic injuries. METHODS: The basis for the evaluation were the occupational injuries of professional dancers of six theaters (n=1339; f: n=658, m: n=681) and one State Ballet School (n=612; f:n=421, m: n=191). RESULTS: Independent of the dance style, the lower extremity…(leg and hip) is the most frequently injured anatomical region (p< 0.001). The more dancers move away from the classical dance technique, the more traumatic head/neck injuries increase (p<0.001). Injury patterns and injured structures also show differences subject to dance styles (p< 0.001). In classical dance the most commonly sustained injuries are due to intrinsic factors with the significance of extrinsic factors increasing the more dancers diverge from defined classical dance techniques. CONCLUSION: The results shown in the study clarify the enormous dance-style related differences in traumatic injuries sustained by dancers. These differences support the development of dance-style related injury prevention measures and suggest further investigations with the focus being placed on the influence of organizational structures (e.g. number of performances) as well as on the working environments.
Keywords: Traumatic injuries, professional dance, extrinsic/intrinsic factors
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Electrical coffeepots are commonly used in professional and residential environments. Their instruction manuals are related to issues that involve the user's safety and ability to operate the machine correctly. To provide the best product performance to the user, one must indicate or inform the correct usability, to turn the interaction easier. OBJECTIVE: This research proposes to investigate the instruction manuals of the electrical coffeepots. METHODS: Four coffee pot instruction manuals were analyzed in…relation to the complexity through the heuristic evaluation. For that, eight experts of the Graphic Design were chosen to answer twenty four questions with the aim of analyzing: images; texts; layout development; information and warnings. RESULTS: This study shows the results of the 04 (four) items analyzed: a) images; b) texts; c) layout development; d) information and warnings, together with the suggestions of improvements for each manual. CONCLUSIONS: It is believed that the methodological procedures for the application of the heuristic evaluation have facilitated the diagnosis of fragilities and barriers that the users find during the interaction with electrical coffeepot manuals.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Nutritional aspects are important for the prevention of diseases and disorders, and few studies have focused on the relationship between risk of work injury and nutritional variables. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to verify whether nutritional variables constitute risk factors for work-related accidents. PARTICIPANTS: 1,422 industrial workers (600 cases plus 822 controls). METHODS: A case-control study was carried out in an industrial city in south-east Brazil. A multiple logistic regression model was…adjusted using work-related accidents as the response variable and nutritional variables as predictors. The associations were assessed by Odds Ratio (OR), with a p-value < 0.05. RESULTS: 47.29% of the workers were overweight or obese. Protective factors for work-related accidents were (a) attending formal education for an above average number of years (OR=0.91, p< 0.0001) and (b) eating a traditional dinner (OR=0.67, p=0.0087). Risks factors were (a) hard physical effort in the workplace (OR=1.37, p< 0.0001), (b) having lunch in the workplace (OR=1.57, p<0.0001) and (c) receiving government benefits in the form of food stamps (OR=1.39, p=0.0350) or food baskets (OR=1.30, p=0.0414). CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest an association between nutritional variables and work-related accidents. This indicates the need, during the formulation of policies for these kinds of government benefits, to include nutrition aspects in order to minimize work-related accidents risks.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mechanical installation workers experience work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) at high rates. OBJECTIVES: (1) Quantify the ergonomic demands during HVAC installation, (2) identify the tasks and task parameters that generated extreme ergonomic demands, and (3) propose improvements to reduce the WMSDs among mechanical workers. METHOD: The study focused on installation of rectangular ductwork components using ladders, and analyzed five operations by two mechanical contractors. Using continuous time observational assessment, the videotaped operations were analyzed along…two dimensions: (1) the production tasks and durations, and (2) the ergonomic demands for four body regions (neck, arms/shoulders, back, and knees). The analysis identified tasks with low portion of productive time and high portion of extreme postures, and task parameters that generated extreme postures. RESULTS: Duct alignment was the task with the highest portion of extreme postures. The position of the ladder (angle and distance from the duct) was a task parameter that strongly influenced the extreme postures for back, neck and shoulders. Other contributing factors included the difficulty to reach the hand tools when working on the ladder, the congestion of components in the ceiling, and the space between the duct and the ceiling. CONCLUSIONS: The identified tasks and factors provide directions for improvement.