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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: Cynicism, as a personality trait, has adverse effects on health. The question was asked whether cynical attitudes that develop due to work-related stress correlate with stress levels and whether it has a negative influence on health. OBJECTIVES: To investigate associations of the cynicism subscale scores of the Maslach Burnout Inventory–General Survey (MBI-GS) with levels of stress, anxiety, questionnaire-based physical health and with a number of physiological health risk indicators. METHODS: Cynicism, anxiety, questionnaire-based physical health scores, as well as allostatic load, heart rate variability and C-reactive protein, were assessed in 27 males working between…40 and 80 irregular hours per week. RESULTS: Cynicism scores related to stress levels (r = 0.411, p = 0.030). Effects of work-related cynicism on physical health were suggested by negative associations with questionnaire-based scores on physical health (r = –0.383, p = 0.044) and heart rate variability indicators (r = –0.379, p = 0.047 to r = –0.496, p = 0.007), and by positive associations with anxiety levels (r = 0.408, p = 0.031), heart rate (r = 0.449, p = 0.017), BMI (r = 0.426, p = 0.024) allostatic load (r = 0.360, p = 0.065) and levels of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (r = 0.407, p = 0.035). CONCLUSIONS: Cynicism, as reflected by the MBI-GS, increases with increased stress levels and could contribute to the decline in the health reported for burnout.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Woman-to-woman rape and sexual assault globally remains largely unknown and unaddressed. Expectedly, victim/survivors often cope alone, or with limited support, in the traumatic aftermath of their sexual victimisation. Work is one occupation that is impacted upon at this time. OBJECTIVE: The study explored the perceived impacts of woman-to-woman rape and sexual assault, the subsequent experience of disclosure, reaction, and support, and the consequences for victim/survivors’ subjective experience of occupation. METHODS: The study combined a sociological auto/biographical approach with an occupational science perspective. A web-based survey generated initial data, and was also used as a…sampling tool; subsequently, 10 respondents were interviewed face-to-face, in various UK locations. An eleventh respondent shared her story through correspondence. RESULTS: Four key themes emerged: 1) Identity; 2) Emotion; 3) Survival; and 4) Occupation. The latter, occupation, incorporated study and work. CONCLUSIONS: For these victim/survivors, work or education can be experienced as either: disrupted (triggering) or as preservative (maintenance). Their life roles as worker or student were impacted by feelings that they could have performed better and achieved more. Occupational therapists and other relevant service providers could work with sexually victimised people in order to participate more satisfactorily and healthily in the occupation of work.
Keywords: Dark side, occupation, education, trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Neuromuscular diseases (NMD) can affect the ability to be employed and to work, but there is limited knowledge of individuals’ own perspectives of factors that are important for their vocational situation. OBJECTIVE: To explore the vocational situation among people with NMD that are employed, and to describe their experiences of how their disability, personal and environmental factors influence their ability to continue to work. METHODS: Nine participants with different NMD were included. A mixed-methods design was used, and data were collected by means of semi-structured and open-ended interviews, and ratings of aspects supporting or…interfering with their work performance and the ability to continue to work. Data were analyzed with directed content analysis based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, and with descriptive statistics. RESULTS: The participants’ personal characteristics, support from others at work and at home, and a flexible work organization were perceived as important factors facilitating work continuation, whereas physically demanding work assignments and factors in the physical environment were perceived as barriers. CONCLUSIONS: Knowledge of how personal characteristics as well as support from the work organization, managers and family members can facilitate the ability to work is important for employers, staff within different parts of the health care system, and the social security system. Future research should focus on interventions that are best suited to enhance the vocational situation for individuals with NMD.
Keywords: International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, hereditary sensory and motor neuropathy, muscular dystrophies, work, workplace, work performance
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Shift work has been associated with poor health, sleep and fatigue problems and low satisfaction with working hours. However, one type of shift working, namely split shifts, have received little attention. OBJECTIVE: This study examined stress, health and psychosocial aspects of split-shift schedules among bus drivers in urban transport. METHODS: A questionnaire was distributed to drivers working more than 70% of full time which 235 drivers in total answered. RESULTS: In general, drivers working split-shift schedules (n = 146) did not differ from drivers not working such shifts (n = 83) as regards any…of the outcome variables that were studied. However, when individual perceptions towards split-shift schedules were taken into account, a different picture appeared. Bus drivers who reported problems working split shifts (36%) reported poorer health, higher perceived stress, working hours interfering with social life, lower sleep quality, more persistent fatigue and lower general work satisfaction than those who did not view split shifts as a problem. Moreover, drivers who reported problems with split shifts also perceived lower possibilities to influence working hours, indicating lower work time control. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that split shifts were not associated with increased stress, poorer health and adverse psychosocial work factors for the entire study sample. However, the results showed that individual differences were important and approximately one third of the drivers reported problems with split shifts, which in turn was associated with stress, poor health and negative psychosocial work conditions. More research is needed to understand the individual and organizational determinants of tolerance to split shifts.
Keywords: Working schedules, sleep, work-life balance, work satisfaction, work time control
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite various health promotion initiatives, unfavorable figures regarding Dutch truck drivers’ eating behaviors, exercise behaviors, and absenteeism have not improved. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to obtain a better understanding of the low level of effectiveness of current health interventions for Dutch truck drivers by examining to what extent these are tailored to the target group’s particular mindset (focus of content) and health literacy skills (presentation of content). METHODS: The article analyzes 21 health promotion materials for Dutch truck drivers using a two-step approach: (a) an analysis of the materials’ focus, guided by the Health…Action Process Approach; and (b) an argumentation analysis, guided by pragma-dialectics. RESULTS: The corpus analysis revealed: (a) a predominant focus on the motivation phase; and (b) in line with the aim of motivating the target group, a consistent use of pragmatic arguments, which were typically presented in an implicit way. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that existing health promotion materials for Dutch truck drivers are not sufficiently tailored to the target group’s mindset and health literacy skills. Recommendations are offered to develop more tailored/effective health interventions targeting this high-risk, underserved occupational group.
Keywords: Workplace health promotion, health literacy, tailoring, argumentation, corpus analysis
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Patient-handling is one of the main tasks of nursing personnel; it imposes compressive and shear forces on nurses’ lower spine. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Low Back Pain (LBP), risk factors in the incidence of such disorders, and patient handling risk assessment among nursing personnel. METHODS: This study was carried out on 243 randomly selected nursing personnel who played a role in handling the patients (58 wards). Patient Transfer Assessment Instrument (PTAI) checklists alongside Standardized Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaires (NMQ) were used for data collection. The statistical analyses such as independent…t-test and Chi-Square test were used. RESULTS: Prevalence of LBP among nursing personal was 69.5% in the previous 12 months. Significant correlations were found among age, working hours per week, work experience, BMI, gender and shift-work. Results of PTAI index assessment revealed that more than 90% of subjects were in medium and severe risks of LBP. PTAI index scores were significantly associated with LBP (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: PTAI index is regarded as an efficient tool for risk level classifications and identification of effective factors on LBP incidence among nursing personnel involved in patient transfer. In this regard and for the aim of ergonomic intervention towards the reduction of LBP incidence among nurses, the modification of improper factors which are identified in PTAI index such as the use of advanced patient handling equipment, increase in work posture guidance and work arrangements, can be mentioned.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work-related traumatic brain injury (wrTBI) is the most significant occupational injury associated with death and disability. Few studies have investigated injury text narratives to inform prevention strategies. OBJECTIVE: To identify factors leading to wrTBI in male and female workers utilizing the Person-Environment-Occupation (P-E-O) framework. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of the medical records of 98 consecutive Ontario workers with a diagnosed wrTBI was performed. Sociodemographic, occupational, injury-related, clinical, and environmental data were collected from medical assessments and insurers’ files. A mixed methods approach was employed to analyse the data. RESULTS: Five occupational…hazard themes emerged from the injury narratives: unexplained person factor, action by co-worker, external environment, safety measures, and equipment malfunction. Male workers were more likely than female workers to experience a wrTBI due to an equipment breakdown or malfunction. Statistically significant sex differences were observed across P-E-O factors. CONCLUSION: Efforts directed at identifying and remedying various injury patterns are necessary for the development of brain injury primary prevention recommendations, to reduce the prevalence of these vastly impactful incidents.
Keywords: Person-Environment-Occupation model, sex differences, workplace safety, prevention, occupation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In Canada, functional capacity evaluations (FCEs) are commonly administered by several health care professions including kinesiologists. Kinesiologists have been recently regulated as health care professionals in Ontario and we know little about their demographics, the frequency of FCE administration, or the types of FCEs used by this group. OBJECTIVE: The purposes of this study were to identify: 1) the demographic characteristics and FCE education of kinesiology FCE practitioners; 2) the FCE systems most used by these practitioners and 3) the constructs from assessments used to determine functional capacity. METHODS: A survey was distributed to…members of the Canadian Kinesiology Alliance. Descriptive statistics and frequency distributions were calculated from the survey responses (n = 77). RESULTS: FCE practitioners were represented by kinesiologists (79%) practicing more than 15 years and 1–5 years, who received FCE training from a certification course. ARCON (23%) was the most common FCE system used. Low-level lifting (43%), mid-lift (38%), pulling (38%) and walking (38%) are the most common FCE task components used to assess functional capacity. Although kinesiologists consider multiple factors when making decisions about task component endpoints, biomechanical observations/body mechanics are the primary methods used. CONCLUSIONS: Kinesiologists are conducting FCEs for the primary purpose of preparing return-to-work or workplace accommodation recommendations. Although functional capacity is determined using multiple factors, there is an emphasis on biomechanics and body mechanics. Focusing FCE training and research on these constructs may provide opportunities to further strengthen the reliability and validity of FCE outcomes.
Keywords: Return-to-work, functional capacity assessments, kinesiology, allied health professionals, occupationalrehabilitation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT) uses compensatory strategies and environmental supports to support cognitive impairments and improve functioning. CAT may be useful for addressing vocational recovery in first-episode psychosis (FEP) because cognitive impairments are common and vocational recovery is a key goal of young people with FEP. OBJECTIVE: To describe clinical observations and practice experience when delivering CAT with FEP clients and explore potential benefits via objective outcome measures for improving vocational outcomes. METHODS: In this pilot study, five FEP participants received 9 months of CAT. Participant goals and functional needs and clinical observations were…recorded. Formal measures of functioning, quality of life and motivation were independently administered pre- and post-intervention. RESULTS: Vocational recovery (education, employment) was found to be a primary functional goal of FEP participants. Accordingly, CAT had a strong focus on vocational functioning, including functional domains required for successful work or educational outcomes, such as organization and planning, transportation and activities of daily living. Factors of clinical importance when delivering CAT with the FEP participants included cognitive heterogeneity, family involvement, flexibility in compensatory and environmental supports used, and experience of stigma. Improvements from baseline to post-intervention were observed on most measures, with the largest improvements seen in global functioning (including vocation), planning and organization, and quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: CAT is an intervention that appears well suited to addressing vocational functioning in FEP, but larger controlled trials are needed.