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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: Workplace violence (WPV) has been associated with turnover intentions and reduced job satisfaction, yet the mechanisms behind such associations are still nebulous. Studying the way people make sense of their work in the context of WPV could lead to a better understanding of its consequences. PURPOSE: The objective of this exploratory study is to identify key features of meaning of work (MOW) in a group of healthcare workers and explain how these features can change following an act of WPV. METHODS: Researchers recruited 15 healthcare workers (11 women – 4 men) who had previously…been the victim of a serious physical or sexual assault by a patient. A phenomenological approach was used. RESULTS: Two main themes were identified: MOW and relationships with others and MOW and relationship with the self. WPV might have the potential to trigger negative changes in the way some workers perceive their colleagues, their patients and their organisation. It can also interfere with their sense of self-accomplishment; all workers however, were still able to find positive meaning in ‘contribution’ and ‘autonomy’. CONCLUSION: WPV has the potential to change certain aspects of MOW that could help explain why WPV is associated with lowered job satisfaction, compassion fatigue, and higher turnover. Also, finding meaning through contribution and autonomy can be a form of resilience.
Keywords: Workplace violence, health personnel, job satisfaction, resilience, professional burnout
Abstract: BACKGROUND: We have previously demonstrated that when speech generating devices (SGD) are used as assistive technologies, they are preferred over the users’ natural voices. OBJECTIVE: We sought to examine whether using SGDs would affect listener’s perceptions of hirability of people with complex communication needs. METHODS: In a series of three experiments, participants rated videotaped actors, one using SGD and the other using their natural, mildly dysarthric voice, on (a) a measurement of perceptions of speaker credibility, strength, and informedness and (b) measurements of hirability for jobs coded in terms of skill, verbal ability, and interactivity.…Experiment 1 examined hirability for jobs varying in terms of skill and verbal ability. Experiment 2 was a replication that examined hirability for jobs varying in terms of interactivity. Experiment 3 examined jobs in terms of skill and specific mode of interaction (face-to-face, telephone, computer-mediated). RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Actors were rated more favorably when using SGD than their own voices. Actors using SGD were also rated more favorably for highly skilled and highly verbal jobs. This preference for SGDs over mildly dysarthric voice was also found for jobs entailing computer-mediated-communication, particularly skillful jobs.
Keywords: Augmentative and alternative communication, disability, discrimination, computer synthesized speech, assistive technology, stigma
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Firefighting is a dangerous occupation that requires adequate functional movement patterns to help reduce injury risk. Structured programs for improving movement quality have not been studied in firefighters. OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of an 8-week individualized corrective exercise training program on Functional Movement Screen (FMS) scores in active duty firefighters. METHODS: Fifty-six male firefighters volunteered to participate in the study. All subjects completed baseline FMS testing and scores were entered into the FMS Pro360 system, subscription-based software which generates an individualized corrective exercise workout based on each independent test score. Two, 4-week corrective…exercise programs were generated for each participant based on baseline testing. Following the 8-weeks, participants completed follow-up FMS testing. RESULTS: A significant increase in total FMS score (pre = 12.09±2.75, post = 13.66±2.28) was found after the program. A significant increase in stability (pre = 4.13±1.21, post = 4.55±0.83) and advanced movements (pre = 4.45±1.28, post = 5.36±1.29) were also found, however, no difference was observed in mobility tests (3.52±1.09, post = 3.75±0.90). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest an 8-week individualized corrective exercise program was effective at improving scores on the FMS. Providing corrective exercise programs specific to improving levels of dysfunction or maintaining/enhancing function, may increase firefighter preparedness and attempt to minimize injury risk.
Keywords: Assessment, corrective, dysfunctional, exercise, training
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Ophthalmology is a rapidly evolving branch of medicine and advancing technology has raised the bar of patient expectations and outcomes. However, studies that assess physician stress and satisfaction especially in developing countries are limited in literature. OBJECTIVE: This index study aims at looking at the levels of job satisfaction, burnout and perception of gender disparity among ophthalmologists in India. METHODS: An Internet-based survey was sent out to ophthalmologists. 297 respondents replied with responses, which were anonymized and analyzed. RESULTS: Of the 297 respondents, 101 were female and 196 were male ophthalmologists. The…mean duration of practice of the respondents was 14.66 years. 54.21% (161/297) responded affirmatively when asked if they were satisfied with their careers. 19% (56/297) were not satisfied. 26.94% (80/297) replied that although they were satisfied, they wished they had more time for family. A quarter (25.2%; 63 out of 250) of the respondents felt burnt-out at that stage of their careers. 68.35% (203/297) of the respondents felt that being a woman ophthalmologist in India was more challenging than being a male ophthalmologist. This perception was significantly more amongst women respondents (p < 0.0002). Greater family responsibility, long working hours, and having to work harder were the challenges faced by female ophthalmologists. There was a significant difference in perception between male and female ophthalmologists regarding the presence of disparity in earnings given equal qualifications and experience with more women responding in the affirmative. CONCLUSIONS : Indian ophthalmologists have personally and professionally satisfying careers with low rates of burnout. While good family support and an understanding partner help ophthalmologists achieve good work-life balance, women ophthalmologists perceive a gender-based disparity when it comes to proving their worth and getting suitably remunerated.
Keywords: Ophthalmology, women in medicine, physician burnout, gender disparity, job satisfaction
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Active Design is a relatively new concept and evaluation on its effects on healthy behaviour is lacking. OBJECTIVE: To investigate Active Design influence on workplace physical activity, sedentary behaviour, musculoskeletal complaints, and perceptions of the workplace and productivity. METHODS: Participants (n = 118 adults) moving from 14 workplaces into a new building completed an online questionnaire pre- and post-move. The questions related to health behaviours (physical activity, sitting time and sleep); musculoskeletal issues; perceptions of the office environment; productivity; and engagement. RESULTS: After the move, 68% of participants were located in an open…plan building (21% before the move). In the new workplace participants tended to sit less during their work time (72% – 66%; p < 0.05) and stand more (15% – 19%; p < 0.05) while walking remained unchanged. Participants reported less lower-back pain. The new work environment was perceived as more motivating and providing better light, air quality and temperature, but less storage space. Participants reported looking forward to going to work more than before. No difference was reported in productivity related measures. CONCLUSIONS: Moving to a new Active Design building can have some physical health-promoting effects on occupants. Satisfaction with environmental characteristics tended to improve in the new building though perceptions of productivity measures were variable.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: To establish a Physical Employment Standard for tasks with high physical demands, it is important to determine the physiological requirements. One such task for the UK Coastguard is mud rescue. OBJECTIVE: To quantify the physiological demand of pulling a rescue sled across estuary mud, and determine whether rescuer experience has an impact on the physiological demand of this task. METHODS: Forty participants walked 150 m in 3 minutes across estuary mud. Following 3 minute rest, they walked 150 m pulling a rescue sled (61 kg) in pairs (based on experience). RESULTS: Experienced rescuers had a…total oxygen consumption approximately 24% lower than those inexperienced in the task. Relative oxygen consumption (V ̇ O2 ) was significantly (p < 0.05) greater in the non-experienced (mean [SD]; 42.90 [6.55] mL.kg–1 .min–1 ) compared to the experienced group (32.85 [5.79] mL.kg–1 .min–1 ) when controlled for pace. Required V ̇ O2 for various speeds were predicted based on non-experienced participants and assessed for agreement. LoA (95%) mean±difference was 0.0003 ± 3.48 mL.kg–1 .min–1 , with a CV of 2.30%. CONCLUSIONS: For tasks that require a high relative V ̇ O2 , such as mud rescue, the minimum level of fitness at entry should be based upon the metabolic demands measured on those who are inexperienced.
Keywords: Physical employment standards, occupational tasks, physiological demands of
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Trunk flexion and occupational physical activity are parameters that have been used to assess and characterize jobs with high physical demands. OBJECTIVE: Characterize the physical load of trunk flexion and physical activity of patient care unit (PCU) workers during a single work shift. METHODS: Participants wore an accelerometer to measure physical activity and an inclinometer to assess trunk flexion during a single work shift, which was compared using correlation and linear regression analyses. RESULTS: Participants spent 74% of their work time upright between – 10° to 20° and 19% of their time…flexed between 20° to 45°. On average workers spent 3% and 5% of their time, in the extreme postures of less than – 10° and greater than 45°, respectively. Participants spent 99% of their shift below moderate and vigorous activity. The largest correlation found was between the number of forward trunk flexions to 20° degrees per shift and minutes in lifestyle activity (r = 0.6, p < 0.001). No correlations between minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity and trunk flexion were observed. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that the physical demands of patient care unit workers as measured through trunk flexion are associated with lifestyle and light levels of physical activity.
Keywords: Posture, workload, ergonomics, and bending
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There are recent studies using new industrial workers’ anthropometric data in different countries, but for Serbia such data are not available. OBJECTIVE: This study is the first anthropometric study of Serbian metal industry workers in the country, whose labor force is increasingly employed both on local and international markets. The metal industry is one of Serbia’s most important economic sectors. METHODS: To this end, we collected the basic static anthropometric dimensions of 122 industrial workers and used principal components analysis (PCA) to obtain multivariate anthropometric models. To confirm the results, the dimensions of an…additional 50 workers were collected. The PCA methodology was also compared with the percentile method. RESULTS: Comparing both data samples, we found that 96% of the participants are within the tolerance ellipsoid. According to this study, multivariate modeling covers a larger extent of the intended population proportion compared to percentiles. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this research are useful for the designers of metal industry workstations. This information can be used in dimensioning the workplace, thus increasing job satisfaction, reducing the risk of injuries and fatalities, and consequently increasing productivity and safety.
Keywords: Anthropometric measurements, principal components analysis, percentiles
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In order to evaluate occupational disorders and ergonomic problems in a workplace, Multiple Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) problem solving methods such as Fuzzy Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) can be utilized. OBJECTIVE: In this paper, Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) risk factors were evaluated in a manufacturing company in Iran by a method called Assessment of Repetitive Tasks (ART) of the upper limbs integrated with Fuzzy TOPSIS in order to prioritize the corrective actions. METHODS : This study was done with a descriptive-analytical approach. The company under study had 240 employees…who were working in seven different shops. Out of all tasks, 13 tasks were included in the study. Required information was gathered by a demographic questionnaire and ART method. Also, Fuzzy TOPSIS was utilized for the prioritization of the company shops based on the ergonomic control needs. RESULTS : Data analysis from ART indicated that 74.6% of the reviewed tasks were high risk. Based on the F- TOPSIS-ART results, Production shop prioritized as the highest need for MSD control. CONCLUSIONS: Because there is time and financial resources limit in ergonomic control activities, a fuzzy prioritization approach such as Fuzzy TOPSIS ART can be used to take advantage of the available resources and control risks to as low as reasonably practicable (ALARP) level.