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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: Improving social support, and providing nature contact at work are potential health promoting workplace interventions. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to investigate whether nature contact at work is associated with employee’s health and participation, and to study whether the possible associations between nature contact and health can be explained by perceived organizational support. METHOD: Data were collected through a web-based, cross-sectional survey of employees in seven public and private office workplaces in Norway (n = 707, 40% response rate). Multiple linear and logistic regression analysis were performed on 565 participants fulfilling inclusion criteria. RESULTS: A…greater amount of indoor nature contact at work was significantly associated with less job stress (B = –0.18, CI = –0.318 to –0.042), fewer subjective health complaints (B = –0.278, CI = –0.445 to –0.112) and less sickness absence (B = –0.061, CI = –0.009 to –0.002). Perceived organizational support mediated the associations between indoor nature contact and job stress and sickness absence, and partly mediated the association with subjective health complaints. Outdoor nature contact showed no reliable association with the outcomes in this study. CONCLUSIONS: Extending nature contact in the physical work environment in offices, can add to the variety of possible health-promoting workplace interventions, primarily since it influences the social climate on the workplace.
Keywords: Workplace interventions, worksite health promotion, occupational health research, indoor plants, window view
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mental health problems are a major cause for new disability grants in Norway. A variety of approaches in vocational rehabilitation is needed for this group. Green work is one such program that has been implemented at Norwegian care farms, which aims to promote health and support the transition from unemployment to working life. OBJECTIVE: To describe care farms in Norway and identify the presence of key components of such vocational programs. METHODS: In this case study, we used The Norwegian National Register of Care Farms to gain an overview of farms with vocational rehabilitation programs.…Data consisted of written information from five farms’ own web-site together with answers from a cross sectional questionnaire. Content about programs was systematically extracted by using national green work guidelines. RESULTS: Descriptions of care farm programs showed that key components outlined by the national guidelines for green work were present. These components were; (1) variety of work activities, (2) adaptation of work tasks, (3) the farmers’ support and supervision, (4) experiencing nature, (5) enhanced structure in everyday life. CONCLUSION: The description of vocational programs on care farms in relation to these key components, gives a thorough understanding of the content and organization of such programs.
Keywords: Care farming, green work, mental health problems, vocational rehabilitation, occupational rehabilitation, unemployment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: C are farming is a service developed at farms for promoting mental and physical health and is increasingly used in mental health rehabilitation in Norway. OBJECTIVE: This article aims to present a descriptive review of Norwegian intervention research on care farms that provide rehabilitation for people with mental health disorders. METHODS: This literature review applied a non-systematic search strategy: all articles in the field known to the authors were selected for inclusion. The selected studies were intervention studies that were conducted on farms in Norway, that used adult participants with mental health problems/disorders, and…that reported outcome measures related to mental health. The studies and articles presented quantitative and/or qualitative data. RESULTS: The findings from the published articles report improvements to mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, perceived stress, positive affect, rumination, and self-efficacy. Qualitative data describe a variety of positive experiences, such as improved coping ability, increased social support, and appreciation of the care farm activity. CONCLUSION: Participating in interventions on care farms positively influences mental health. Care farming may therefore be used as a supplementary approach in mental health rehabilitation, as it offers meaningful and engaging occupations and social inclusion.
Keywords: Animal-assisted interventions, care farming, meaningful occupations, therapeutic horticulture
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is an increasing interest in the possible healing factors connected to the presence of nature elements in health institutions. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the present study is to get a deeper understanding of how residents in a residential rehabilitation center experience the views through windows and the indoor plants, and whether and how the view and the plants can impact their recovery process. METHODS: In-depth individual and group interviews were conducted among 16 residents at a rehabilitation center in Norway. RESULTS: The participants said that the indoor plants and the view of…nature were pleasant to look at and elicited feelings of relaxation and positive emotions which contributed to opportunities for reflection and contemplation. They expressed a feeling of connectedness to nature: a feeling of wholeness and spirituality elicited by the nature elements. They also expressed that the presence of nature elements contributed to a sense of being taken care of. CONCLUSIONS: The nature elements, such as a view of nature or indoor plants, seem to enhance opportunities for reflection, feelings of meaningfulness and sense of being taken care of which may strengthen their feeling of well-being and make them more resilient to the stressors in life.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Long-term sickness absence is a considerable health and economic problem in the industrialised world. Factors that might predict return to work (RTW) are therefore of interest. OBJECTIVE: To examine the impact of psychosocial work characteristics on RTW three months after the end of a RTW programme. METHODS: A cohort study of 251 sick-listed employees from 40 different treatment and rehabilitation services in Norway recruited from February to December 2012. The Job Content Questionnaire was used to gather information on the psychosocial work conditions. Full or partial RTW was measured three months after the end of…the RTW programme, using data from the national sickness absence register. Logistic regression analyses were performed to investigate the association between the psychosocial work characteristics and RTW. RESULTS: Having low psychological job demands (OR = 0.4, 95% CI: 0.2–0.9), high co-worker- (OR = 3.4, 95% CI: 1.5–5.8), and supervisor support (OR = 3.4, 95% CI: 1.6–7.3), and being in a low-strain job (low job demands and high control) (OR = 4.6, 95% CI: 1.1–18.6) were predictive of being in work three months after the end of the RTW programme, after adjusting for several potential prognostic factors. CONCLUSION: Interventions aimed at returning people to work might benefit from putting more emphasise on psychosocial work characteristics in the future.
Keywords: The rapid-RTW-study, sick leave, sickness absence, demand-control-support model, psychosocial work environment, job strain
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mental health problems are leading causes for early and prolonged withdrawal from the workforce. Green work on care farms represents a prevocational training program intended to stimulate return to work for people with mental health problems. Research suggests that care farms may improve mental health, but there is still little knowledge of the subjective perspective of clients in green work programs. OBJECTIVE: To gain a deeper and broader understanding of the individual experiences of people with mental health problems participating in green work on care farms in Norway. METHODS: A hermeneutic phenomenological research design was…applied. Ten semi-structured interviews were conducted. The self-determination theory (SDT) was adapted to gain a deeper understanding of the themes that emerged in the analysis process of the interviews. RESULTS: Five main themes materialize describing participants’ experiences within the green work program. The main themes consist of (1) structure and flexibility, (2) understanding and acknowledgement, (3) guidance and positive feedback, (4) nature and animals, and (5) reflections on personal functioning and the future. CONCLUSION: The main themes identified indicate a high degree of autonomy support and need satisfaction within the care farm context, which according to SDT can facilitate good human functioning, and well-being.
Keywords: Mental health problems, prevocational rehabilitation, return to work
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many people confronting mental health problems are excluded from participation in paid work. Supervisor engagement is essential for successful job placement. OBJECTIVE: To elicit supervisor perspectives on the challenges involved in fostering integration to support individuals with mental health problems (trainees) in their job placement at ordinary companies. METHODS: Explorative, qualitative designed study with a phenomenological approach, based on semi-structured interviews with 15 supervisors involved in job placements for a total of 105 trainees (mean 7, min-max. 1–30, SD 8). Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. RESULTS: Superviors experience two interrelated dilemmas…concerning knowledge of the trainee and degree of preferential treatment. Challenges to obtaining successful integration were; motivational : 1) Supervisors previous experience with trainees encourages future engagement, 2) Developing a realistic picture of the situation, and 3) Disclosure and knowledge of mental health problems, and continuity challenges : 4) Sustaining trainee cooperation throughout the placement process, 5) Building and maintaining a good relationship between supervisor and trainee, and 6) Ensuring continuous cooperation with the social security system and other stakeholders. CONCLUSIONS: Supervisors experience relational dilemmas regarding pre-judgment, privacy and equality. Job placement seem to be maximized when the stakeholders are motivated and recognize that cooperation must be a continuous process.
Keywords: Work disability prevention, supported employment, sick leave, vocational rehabilitation, return to work