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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: People with mental health issues usually access primary health care services but employment status and/or return to work is not typically an explicit focus of a general practice consultation. OBJECTIVE: This scoping review aims to investigate the broad range of interventions used in primary health care to effectively support people with mental health issues to choose, get, or keep employment. METHODS: A literature search was conducted using five electronic databases. Peer reviewed research articles published between 1996 and February 2016 were included in the review. RESULTS: Twelve studies explored work related interventions for…people with mental health issues in the primary health care context. The most commonly used intervention was sickness certification, other interventions that show promise were identified but there is limited empirical evidence to show their effectiveness in relation to improving employment outcomes. General practitioners identified a range of barriers in terms of focusing on employment outcomes for patients including knowledge and confidence in understanding the impact of work on symptoms and limited access to advice or services to refer patients to. CONCLUSIONS: This review suggests that work focused interventions situated in primary health care settings appear to be a promising approach for people with mental health issues. However, various barriers impact the implementation of an employment approach, with limited comparisons between different effective interventions. In the context of increasing numbers of people presenting with mental health issues, future research should address the implementation and effectiveness of work-focused interventions based in primary health care.
Keywords: Health services, mental health issues, job retention, work related interventions, employment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Effects of exercise on foot clearances are important. In older adults variations in foot clearances during walking may lead to a fall, but there is a lack of information concerning stair negotiation in older adults. Whether a condition of post exercise changes foot clearances between steps of a staircase in older adults still unknown. OBJECTIVE: To determine differences in clearances when older adults negotiate different steps of a staircase before and after a session of aerobic exercise. METHODS: Kinematics data from 30 older adults were acquired and the toe and heel clearances were determined for…each step. Clearances were compared between the steps. RESULTS: Smaller clearances were found at the highest step during ascending and descending, which was not changed by exercise. Smaller clearances suggest higher risk of tripping at the top of the staircase, regardless of exercise. CONCLUSION: A smaller step at the top of a short flight of stairs could reduce chances of tripping in older adults. It suggests that steps with variable height could make stair negotiation safer in older adults. This hypothesis should be tested in further studies.
Keywords: Aging, stair walking, stumble, falls prevention, toe clearance
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A public accident investigation is carried out when the consequences of the incident are significant or the accident has occurred in unusual circumstances. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the quality of the official accident investigations being conducted by Safety Specialists of the Labour Authorities in Andalusia. METHODS: To achieve this objective, we analysed 98 occupational accident investigations conducted by the Labour Authorities in Andalusia in the last quarter of 2014. Various phases in the accident investigation process were examined, such as the use of the Eurostat variables within European Statistics on Accidents at Work (ESAW), detection of…causes, determination of preventive measures, cost analysis of the accidents, identification of noncompliance with legal requirements or the investigation method used. RESULTS: The results of this study show that 77% of the official occupational accident investigation reports analysed were conducted in accordance with all the quality criteria recommended in the literature. CONCLUSIONS: To enhance glogal learning, and optimize allocation of resources, we propose the development of a harmonized European model for the public investigation of occupational accidents. Further it would be advisable to create a common classification and coding system for the causes of accidents for all European Union Member States.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Rates of unemployment among individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) are as high as 80%. While several factors for such high rates of unemployment have been identified, they do not account for the majority of the variance. OBJECTIVE: This study examines person-specific factors such as personality and coping, which may better account for individuals leaving the workforce. METHOD: Forty individuals with MS (20 considering reducing work hours or leaving the workforce and 20 remaining employed) were matched on age, gender, education, disease duration, and disease course, and administered a comprehensive survey of factors purported to be…related to employment status. RESULTS: Based on multiple, logistic regression analyses certain disease factors and person-specific factors differentiate those who are considering leaving work or reducing work hours and those staying employed. In particular, those expressing the need to reduce work hours or leaving the workforce reported more fatigue, anxiety, depression, and use of behavioral disengagement as a means of coping. In contrast, those staying employed reported greater levels of extraversion, self-efficacy, and use of humor as a means of coping. Together, fatigue, use of humor, and use of behavioral disengagement as a means of coping were the most significant factors, accounting for 44% of the variance. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest that greater consideration be given to these factors and that interventions tailored to address these factors may assist individuals with MS staying employed and/or making appropriate accommodations.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Societal interest in enabling older workers to prolong their working life has increased in recent years due to demographic change. Managers have a key role in extending working life among employees, because they control the organisation, work environment and potential measures enabling older workers to extend their working life. OBJECTIVE: To examine managers’ attitudes to their older workers. METHOD: A cross-sectional study based on a questionnaire answered by 905 managers working in different municipal departments in Sweden. RESULTS: Managers’ attitude to their older workers’ retirement time appeared to be associated with their own…retirement planning. Managers who themselves wanted to work beyond 66 years considered it more important to keep older workers beyond that age than managers planning to retire at 66. The managers reported that older people were more careful, possessed experiences, skills and life knowledge that were useful in the workplace and helped guide new employees and younger employees. On the other hand, the majority of managers agreed with the stereotypical claim that older people are slower, resistant to change, less well educated and hostile to technology. CONCLUSION: The study stated that the managers’ attitude to their own retirement planning affected their attitude to the retirement age for their older employees. This is important to consider in the debate of delayed retirement, and to perform activities and incentives in the society to change those attitudes if more people should get the possibility to an extended working life. Additional, almost 50% of the managers surveyed recognised possible measures for adapting work tasks to suit their ageing employees. However, only 5% of managers reported the existence of organisational measures targeted at promoting a sustainable work situation for older employees in their municipal department. The managers were interested in retaining older employees mainly if those older employees had some specific skills that were needed by the department, and not in general.
Keywords: Age management, age discrimination, ageing, retirement, demography, extended working life, older workers
Abstract: BACKGROUND: High physical exertion during work is a risk factor for back pain and long-term sickness absence. OBJECTIVE: To investigate which factors are associated with physical exertion during manual lifting. METHODS: From 14 workplaces across Denmark, 200 blue-collar workers reported perceived physical exertion (Borg-CR10) during manual lifting from floor to table height of 5, 10, 20 and 30 kg at the beginning and end of the working day. The workers also responded to a questionnaire and went through testing of isometric back muscle strength. Associations were modelled using logistic regression analysis controlled for various confounders. The outcome…was dichotomized into low (0–4) and high (5–10) physical exertion. RESULTS: Gender (OR 8.57 [95% CI 4.46–16.46] for women), load (OR 4.22 [95% CI 3.58–4.97] for each 5-kg increase), back muscle strength (OR 0.43 [95% CI 0.23–0.83] for high), and back pain intensity (OR 2.80 [95% CI 1.43–5.48] for high) were associated with high perceived physical exertion. Age, smoking, Body Mass Index (BMI), and time of the day were not associated with physical exertion. CONCLUSIONS: Gender, load, back muscle strength and back pain influence physical exertion during manual lifting in blue-collar workers. These factors should be considered when planning work with manual lifting for individual workers.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Vocational potential in people with spinal cord injury (SCI) are unrealised with rates of employment substantially lower than in the labour force participation of the general population and the pre-injury employment rates. OBJECTIVES: To understand the experience and pathway of people achieving employment outcome after traumatic spinal cord injury by; classifying participants into employment outcome groups of stable, unstable and without employment; identifying pre and post-injury pathways for participants in each group and, exploring the experiences of people of seeking, gaining and maintaining employment. METHODS: Thirty-one participants were interviewed. Mixed methods approach including interpretive phenomenological…analysis and vocational pathway mapping of quantitative data. RESULTS: The most common pathway identified was from study and work pre-injury to stable employment post-injury. Four super-ordinate themes were identified from the interpretive phenomenological analysis; expectations of work, system impacts, worker identity and social supports. Implications for clinical practice include fostering cultural change, strategies for system navigation, promotion of worker identity and optimal use of social supports. CONCLUSIONS: The findings increase insight and understanding of the complex experience of employment after spinal cord injury. There is opportunity to guide experimental research, policy development and education concerning the complexity of the return to work experience and factors that influence pathways.
Abstract: Although many resources are available to rehabilitation counselors to utilizing community resources for minority clients with disabilities, guidelines specific to service allocation are not easily available. The purpose of this article is to provide rehabilitation counselors with a simple, modifiable service allocation template for this purpose. A 10-step referral making process with real-world examples is presented. Special attention is given to ways in which counselors can appropriately allocate and monitor services when working with minority clients, followed by a case study demonstrating how the model may be applied.
Keywords: Service allocation, advocacy, minority populations, community service coordination
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In this study, we developed a new Korean translation for the shortened version of the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) and examined its psychometric properties in a Korean working population. OBJECTIVE: To develop a new Korean version of the DASS-21 and test its psychometric properties specific to the Korean working population. METHODS: The DASS-21 was translated to the Korean language in accordance with scientific guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation. A total of 228 general workers from Korea then completed the newly translated version of the DAS S-21 and its psychometric properties were evaluated.…RESULTS: Most of the questionnaire items were correctly loaded on the proposed scales of the original questionnaire. Excellent internal consistency and measurement consistency over a one week interval were obtained for all scales (Cronbach’s alpha; 0.87, 83, and 83, and ICC (2, 1); 0.84, 0.94, and 0.89 for depression, anxiety and stress scales, respectively). All three scales were negatively associated with the level of life satisfaction (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The new Korean version of DASS-21 has shown excellent validity and reliability of measurement in the Korean working population. Organizations investigating the prominent health issue of affective disorders in Korean workers can use this instrument with confidence.