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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: In order to compare existing usability data to ideal goals or to that for other products, usability practitioners have tried to develop a framework for deriving an integrated metric. However, most current usability methods with this aim rely heavily on human judgment about the various attributes of a product, but often fail to take into account of the inherent uncertainties in these judgments in the evaluation process. OBJECTIVE: This paper presents a universal method of usability evaluation by combining the analytic hierarchical process (AHP) and the fuzzy evaluation method. By integrating multiple sources of uncertain information…during product usability evaluation, the method proposed here aims to derive an index that is structured hierarchically in terms of the three usability components of effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction of a product. METHODS: With consideration of the theoretical basis of fuzzy evaluation, a two-layer comprehensive evaluation index was first constructed. After the membership functions were determined by an expert panel, the evaluation appraisals were computed by using the fuzzy comprehensive evaluation technique model to characterize fuzzy human judgments. Then with the use of AHP, the weights of usability components were elicited from these experts. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Compared to traditional usability evaluation methods, the major strength of the fuzzy method is that it captures the fuzziness and uncertainties in human judgments and provides an integrated framework that combines the vague judgments from multiple stages of a product evaluation process.
Keywords: Usability, fuzzy comprehensive evaluation, analytic hierarchy process (AHP)
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In order to take into account the inherent uncertainties during product usability evaluation, Zhou and Chan [1 ] proposed a comprehensive method of usability evaluation for products by combining the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and fuzzy evaluation methods for synthesizing performance data and subjective response data. This method was designed to provide an integrated framework combining the inevitable vague judgments from the multiple stages of the product evaluation process. OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: In order to illustrate the effectiveness of the model, this study used a summative usability test case to assess the application and strength of…the general fuzzy usability framework. To test the proposed fuzzy usability evaluation framework [1 ], a standard summative usability test was conducted to benchmark the overall usability of a specific network management software. Based on the test data, the fuzzy method was applied to incorporate both the usability scores and uncertainties involved in the multiple components of the evaluation. Then, with Monte Carlo simulation procedures, confidence intervals were used to compare the reliabilities among the fuzzy approach and two typical conventional methods combining metrics based on percentages. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: This case study showed that the fuzzy evaluation technique can be applied successfully for combining summative usability testing data to achieve an overall usability quality for the network software evaluated. Greater differences of confidence interval widths between the method of averaging equally percentage and weighted evaluation method, including the method of weighted percentage averages, verified the strength of the fuzzy method.
Keywords: Keywords: Usability, fuzzy comprehensive evaluation, analytic hierarchy process (AHP)
Abstract: BACKGROUND: This study introduces the contributions of occupational science (OS) to the preparation and support of astronauts during long duration space exploration. Given the hostile environment of space, it is not surprising that there is grave deterioration of both physical and mental health when off Earth. However, OS, through occupational therapy (OT), can identify strategies that maintain health and minimize disruptions in task performance for mission success. OBJECTIVE: To determine the gaps in NASA’s preparation of astronauts for long duration space exploration and the viable contributions of OT. Because occupational therapists are trained to address deficits and…modify environments to support meaningful engagement in occupations, the OT practitioner is well suited to address the disabling conditions astronauts experience in space. METHODS: A literature review revealing the challenges of deep space travel on humans was completed. A survey was also sent to (N = 170) occupational therapists worldwide to identify opinions about the profession’s involvement in deep space exploration. RESULTS: Ninety-seven percent (N = 163) of the participants believed that OS can inform long duration space travel. Approximately ninety-eight percent (N = 166) of respondents believed that OT interventions can be used on space travelers during long duration space flights. CONCLUSION : OT interventions can be implemented in any phase of space flight to increase the likelihood of mission success and astronaut safety and well-being.
Keywords: Occupational therapy, meaning, astronaut, health effects, Mars Mission, gravity
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Each year, the average number of nonfatal occupational injuries among landscaping and groundskeeping workers are consistently above the total number of injuries for all other occupational injuries among worker in the U.S. From 2004 to 2007, fatalities among groundskeepers averaged 13.3 per 100,000 workers compared to an overall rate of 4.0 fatalities per 100,000 for all U.S. workers with the majority reported as either Hispanic or Latino. OBJECTIVE: The aims of this project were to describe the use of personal protective equipment and work safety climate among a sample of landscaping and groundskeeping workers employed by…public universities in North Carolina (N = 67). METHODS: Data from a cross-sectional study was collected among workers using group- administered surveys. Statistical associations with work safety climate were tested between personal, work and safety behavior characteristics with work safety climate scores using one-way ANOVA. RESULTS: Nearly half of workers (49.3%) reported experiencing one or more work-related injuries or illnesses within the past 12 months. While work safety practices were perceived as being very important to management, only 56.7% reported having regular safety meetings. In bivariate analysis, work safety climate scores were significantly lower among those reporting race “other than white” (P = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study of its kind to evaluate work safety climate among landscaping and groundskeeping workers. Although self-reported safety practices were moderate, minority workers described their work safety climate as being poor. As a pilot study, these results suggest that employers of landscaping and groundskeeping workers could do more to improve safety climate within the organization with an emphasis on safety training for minority and underrepresented workers.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Latina hotel housekeepers’ social class, gender, race/ethnicity, nationality, and United States immigration status render them particularly vulnerable to workplace mistreatment. OBJECTIVE: We sought to reveal the array of policy- and interpersonal-related mistreatment experienced by Latina hotel housekeepers in the southeastern United States employed at 75 local hotels which included 4-star, 3-star, 2-star, and 1-star properties. METHODS: This ethnographic study involved 27 in-depth interviews with Latina hotel housekeepers. Using semi-structured in-depth interview guides, participants were interviewed until collected data reached saturation. Data were coded to explore themes and relationships for the housekeepers’ work environments, and…thick descriptions of these environments were developed. RESULTS: Participants ranged in work experience from 1 to 15 years, with all but one unable to reach full-time status, and were paid between $7.25 and $8.00 per hour. Policy-related phenomena, such as low pay, lack of paid sick leave or overtime, and absence of appropriate cleaning tools or protective equipment were all perceived as forms of mistreatment by Latina hotel housekeepers. Interpersonal mistreatment in the form of supervisor favoritism, unfair work assignments, biased allocation of cleaning supplies, disrespect, and verbal abuse due to ethnicity was also perceived. CONCLUSIONS: Latina hotel housekeepers endure mistreatment that impacts their psychosocial and physical occupational health. We provide recommendations to minimize workplace mistreatment and improve well-being of Latina hotel housekeepers.
Keywords: Immigrant workers, hospitality workers, occupational health, psychosocial health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Manufacturing footwear requires intense manual labor and high repetitions with low variability in function that may lead to musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) symptoms and psychological stress. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate a potential association between musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) and perceived stress among footwear industry workers. METHODS: The Nordic General Questionnaire (NGQ) and the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) were completed by 357 footwear industry workers. The association between MSD and perceived stress was evaluated using the Chi-Square test and Odds Ratios along with their 95% Confidence Interval (95% CI) were calculated. RESULTS: The twelve-month prevalence of…MSD symptoms among the respondents was 66% (n = 236) and the symptoms were significantly associated with perceived stress (p = 0.002, OR: 10, 95% CI: 1.7 to 60.6). The seven-day prevalence of MSD symptoms was 33% and the symptoms were also significantly associated with perceived stress (p = 0.001, OR: 2.7, 95% CI:0.8 to 9.3). The association between perceived stress and MSD symptoms indicates a strong association between MSD symptoms and perceived stress levels. CONCLUSION: Considering that these problems are important determinants of worker’s health, a combined approach to reduce both stress and MSD symptoms is necessary for prevention and health promotion in the footwear industry.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Limited research exists on developmental milestones for productivity occupations throughout the paediatric lifespan, and negative connotations of work for children and youth may have contributed to a paucity of literature on the topic. OBJECTIVE: To ascertain what is currently known about the timing and types of engagement in productivity occupations in children and youth aged 4–19. METHODS: Literature referencing productive occupations in children and youth aged 4–19 was searched for this integrative review. Search terms were established based on paediatric age and occupational therapy descriptors, and terminology associated with productivity. Sixty-seven peer-reviewed articles were…analyzed according to the constant comparative method. RESULTS: Six core productive occupations emerged as avenues for productive engagement: paid work, school-related activities, caring for self and others, household chores, volunteering, and agricultural chores. A timeline was constructed to display common milestones for engagement in these occupations throughout the paediatric lifespan. Paediatric engagement was found to be influenced by personal (age, gender, child and youth perceptions, and safety considerations), and environmental (familial factors, parental perceptions, societal influences, and safety considerations) factors. CONCLUSIONS: Approaches to paediatric practice must account for the full spectrum of productive occupations children and youth engage in beyond the school context.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Understanding what influences reporting is critical to underpinning the knowledge base around reporting behaviour and assisting in developing effective strategies to increase reporting levels within an organisation. Universities should investigate reporting behaviour in their own organisation and investigate why differences exist between different job profiles. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate hazard reporting in an Australian University and to assess what factors (employment type, level of safety responsibility and prior injury) influence reporting behaviour. METHODS: A total of 256 university employees and postgraduate students completed a survey on their hazard reporting.…RESULTS: The study indicated that demographic variables such as department type, role in the organisation, level of safety activity in role, and prior injury effected the reporting of hazards. Issues for non-reporting were also found to support findings in other studies. A unique finding was that while teaching-focused academics were not more likely to have been injured at work they were more likely to have reported a hazard, while researchers were less likely to report despite not being more or less likely to have received an injury. CONCLUSIONS: Although this study indicates there are differences in an organisations hazard reporting based on demographics and prior injury occurrence further research is required to evaluate the impact across other organisations and sectors.