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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: Given the global nature of schoolbag carriage, there has been extensive research on schoolbag weight and use with resultant guidance on many aspects of carrying a schoolbag. However, there is limited evidence of knowledge translation or parents’ awareness of schoolbag carriage. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated parental awareness of factors related to schoolbag carriage. METHOD: A cross-sectional survey using an anonymous 30-item questionnaire and purposive sampling was used. Questionnaires were distributed to parents of primary school children through the schools. Descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages were used and associations were tested using Chi-square analysis in…SPSS v23. RESULTS: A total of 700 parents in Ireland (Ire) and the United States (US) participated in the study (n = 444 [Ire] and n = 256 [US]). Generally, parents had satisfactory awareness of appropriate schoolbag type and carriage. The majority of children owned a backpack (89.9% [Ire] vs. 93.7% [US]), although fewer parents considered this to be the most suitable bag for their child (69.6% [Ire] vs. 88.2% [US]). More Irish parents (29.2%) favoured a wheeled schoolbag compared to US parents (6.2%) (p < 0.001). The majority (70.8% [Ire] vs. 55.7% [US]) wanted more information. The preferred platforms for receiving information were a handout (78.1% [Ire] vs. 71.6% [US]) and on-line (44.6% [Ire] vs. 53.9% [US]). CONCLUSIONS: Despite gaps identified, parents had good awareness of factors relating to schoolbag carriage, but this study shows that they would like more information. The preferred platform for knowledge translation was a handout. Parents are the best advocates for safety promotion and represent the group most likely to improve schoolbag carriage among children.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Labour market participation (LMP) represents a key goal of rehabilitation for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). To achieve this goal, Swiss SCI rehabilitation centres seek, together with their clients, viable follow-up solutions for returning to work after initial rehabilitation. However, the long-term outcomes of such vocational follow-up solutions have not been investigated so far, and there is a paucity of knowledge regarding the various types of employment pathways that persons with SCI living in Switzerland may experience. OBJECTIVE: To examine long-term employment pathways as experienced by individuals with SCI living in Switzerland. METHODS: A…qualitative descriptive study design involving narrative interviews with individuals who completed vocational rehabilitation (VR) during their initial rehabilitation. Interviews were transcribed verbatim, and data analysed using an inductive thematic analysis approach. RESULTS: The analysis of the 15 interviews revealed four employment pathways: the pathway of no paid work, the pathway of retraining, the pathway of job adaptation and the pathway of continuing work. CONCLUSIONS: Apart from three pathways leading towards paid employment, our results revealed one pathway that was characterized by permanent unemployment. Individuals facing a pathway of no paid work may benefit from more custom-made vocational follow-up solutions and prolonged job coaching after initial VR.
Keywords: Return to work, paid employment, labour market participation, vocational rehabilitation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cumulative effects of high-impact vertical forces, like those experienced on an open-ocean mission, could be an injury concern for the cervical spine. OBJECTIVE: Compare cervical range of motion (ROM) and strength measures between students and NSW Crewmen and secondarily to compare these measures between students and Crewmen separated into three groups based on years of service. METHODS: A volunteer sample of 186 students (age: 22.8±3.1 years) and 167 Operators (age: 26.9±5.1 years) completed cervical isometric strength (% BW) and ROM (°) measurements using a handheld dynamometer and CROM-3 device, respectively. Independent samples t -tests were…done to evaluate differences between students and Crewmen. Analysis of Variance and appropriate post-hoc tests were calculated to compare students to Crewmen separated into three groups based on years of service. Data is reported as mean±SD and (student mean vs. Operator mean). RESULTS: Students demonstrated higher flexion strength (21.7±4.9 vs. 19.1±5.0) and greater ROM: flexion (54.3±10.6 vs. 51.2±9.2), and extension (77.0±14.4 vs. 71.3±11.4) than Crewmen. Students demonstrated greater flexion strength than Crewmen with ≤2 (19.4±5.1), 3–6 (19.4±5.3), and ≥7 (18.6±4.7) years of service. CONCLUSIONS: Students demonstrated greater cervical strength and ROM. A trend of decreasing ROM/strength in Crewmen with greater years of service was also observed.
Keywords: Neck, military, special operation forces
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a tool used in the return-to-work process to guide treatment and decision making. Individual abilities and maximum capacity can be determined through visual observations of changes in mechanics as intensity increases. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine kinematic differences between sexes and intensity levels of two common FCE tasks to establish normative behaviours. METHODS: Upper limb and torso kinematics were collected from 30 participants as they performed the overhead lift and overhead work FCE tasks. Mean, maximum, and minimum values were calculated for clinically relevant joint…angles. Mean and maximum segment velocity was also calculated and each variable was tested with a mixed model ANOVA. RESULTS: During the overhead lift task, maximum torso flexion and maximum torso extension increased from the lightest to the heaviest load. Humeral flexion angle at the beginning of the lift and wrist ulnar deviation also increased with load. Torso extension, humeral flexion and axial rotation, and wrist extension all increased with time during the overhead work task. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing intensity during the overhead tasks influenced kinematic variables. These observable changes can be used by evaluators to more reliably determine safe maximum capacities for each patient and identify compensatory actions.
Keywords: Return to work, overhead work, overhead lift, upper extremity, body mechanics
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In Sweden, homecare services take care of elderly and disabled people, work that often requires heavy lifting and forward bending, resulting in high prevalences of pain and work accidents. OBJECTIVE: Using an eight-year follow-up, this study determines the prognostic importance of certain musculoskeletal signs reported in earlier studies [1, 2 ] with respect to aspects of pain and perceived disability. METHODS: Baseline data has been reported in earlier studies of 607 women [1–3 ]. This study uses a postal questionnaire survey and reports the results of eight years post initial study. RESULTS: Segmental…pain at L4-L5 and/or L5-S1 levels was associated with higher low back pain intensity and disability at the eight-year follow-up. A decrease in low back pain intensity over eight years was larger for those with segmental pain. The important signs in the longitudinal analyses of pain aspects and disability were lumbar spinal mobility and segmental pain at L4-L5 and L5-S1 levels, but the explained variations were low. CONCLUSION: Evaluation of low lumbar segmental pain provocation and mobility should be considered in routine clinical assessments, as this type of evaluation provides prognostic pain and disability information over time.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Miners work in highly hazardous environments, but surprisingly, there are more fatalities from occupational diseases, including cancers, than from fatalities from injuries. Over the last few decades, the mining environment has become safer with fewer injuries and less exposure to the toxins that lead to occupational disease. There have been improvements in working conditions, and a reduction in the number of workers exposed, together with an overall improvement in the health of miners. OBJECTIVES: This study attempted to gain a deeper understanding of the impetus for change to reduce occupational exposures or toxins at the industry level.…It focuses on one mining community in Sudbury, Ontario, with a high cancer rate, and its reduction in occupational exposures. It explored the level of awareness of occupational exposures from the perspective of industry and worker representatives in some of the deepest mines in the world. Although awareness may be necessary, it is often not a sufficient impetus for change, and it is this gap between awareness and change that this study explored. It examined the awareness of occupational disease as an impetus to reducing toxic exposures in the mining sector, and explores other forces of change at the industrial and global levels that have led to an impact on occupational exposures in mining. METHODS: From 2014 and 2016, 60 interviews were conducted with individuals who were part of, or witness to the changes in mining in Sudbury. From these, 12 labour and 10 industry interviews and four focus groups were chosen for further analysis to gain a deeper understanding of industry and labour’s views on the changes in mining and the impact on miners’ health from occupational exposures. The results from this subsection of the data is the focus for this paper. RESULTS: The themes that emerged told a story about Sudbury. There is awareness of occupational exposures, but this awareness is dwarfed in comparison to the attention that is given to the tragic fatal injuries from injuries and accidents. The mines are now owned by foreign multinationals with a change from an engaged, albeit paternalistic sense of responsibility for the health of the miners, to a less responsive or sympathetic workplace culture. Modernization has led to the elimination, substitution, or reduction of some of the worst toxins, and hence present-day miners are less exposed to hazards that lead to occupational disease than they were in the past. However, modernization and the drop in the price of nickel has also led to a precipitous reduction in the number of unionized miners, a decline in union power, a decline in the monitoring of present-day exposures, and an increase in non-unionized contract workers. The impact has been that miners have lost their solidarity and power to investigate, monitor or object to present-day exposures. CONCLUSIONS: Although an increase in the awareness of occupational hazards has made a contribution to the reduction in occupational exposures, the improvement in health of miners may be considered more as a “collateral benefit” of the changes in the mining sector. Multiple forces at the industrial and global level have differentially led to an improvement in the working and living environment. However, with the loss of union power, the miners have lost their major advocate for miner health.
Keywords: Knowledge transfer and exchange, occupational cancer, community-based research, knowledge to action, city level analysis
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Hand screen-printing (HSP) plays a predominant role in textile industries in developing countries. Workers from HSP industry were mostly affected by musculoskeletal injury due to monotonous, and prolonged work nature and poor workplace environment. OBJECTIVE: The present study aims to investigate the prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) symptoms and risk factors associated among the HSP industry workers. METHODS: Cochran’s sample size for categorical data was used to select 385 HSP workers of 1000 samples from various provinces of Tamil Nadu, INDIA. Modified Nordic based questionnaire was used to assess the musculoskeletal injuries and risk…factors among HSP workers. RESULTS: The statistical analysis revealed that 62.5% workers are prone to MSD symptoms with lower back (75.1%), shoulder (66.2%), knees (58.7%), and ankle/feet (55.6%). Age, experience, marital status, stress in the job were the risk factors which significantly (p < 0.05) associated with the reported MSDs. Further, this study result infers that the subjects with higher age and experience are exposed higher levels of MSD prevalence of 85.5% and 92.0% respectively in past 12 months than other groups. Among the different work categories in HSP task, the workers reported with the maximum discomfort during printing work (63.1%) with Odds ratio as 10.38 and 95% CI is 6.18–17.4. than the material handling and drying task. CONCLUSIONS: Study results infer that HSP workers are prone to lower back and shoulder pain followed by knees and ankle feet regions. Socio-demographic factors, awkward posture and repetitive movements contribute to cause MSD among hand screen-printing workers.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Variability in patient care settings and the range of patient handling tasks present challenges in developing and evaluating safe patient handling and mobilization (SPHM) programs. OBJECTIVE: We performed a systematic meta-analysis of SPHM program evaluations. METHODS: Systematic literature review identified published SPHM program evaluations. Injury Rate Ratios (IRR), pre- to post-intervention, were used to estimate intervention effects and to examine the influence of patient care level, program components, and follow-up time using meta-regression. RESULTS: 27 articles reported evaluations from 44 sites. Combined effect estimate for all SPHM programs was 0.44 (95% CI 0.36,…0.54), reflecting substantial injury reductions after program implementation. While specific program components were not associated with greater effectiveness, longer follow-up duration was associated with greater injury rate reduction (p = 0.01) and intervention effects varied by level of care (p = 0.01), with the greatest effect in intensive care unit interventions (IRR 0.14; 95% CI 0.07, 0.30). CONCLUSIONS: SPHM programs appear to be highly effective in reducing injuries. More research is needed to identify the most effective interventions for different patient care levels.