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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: Low back pain (LBP) is the most common work-related musculoskeletal problem among healthcare workers including nurses. Awkward trunk postures have been recognized as one common problem in this group OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to: a) continuously assess trunk postures for an entire shift work in various hospital wards, and b) examine the relationship between the duration of exposure to awkward trunk postures and the occurrence of low back pain (LBP) among nurses. METHODS: Eighty nurses from eight wards in a hospital participated in this cross-sectional study. The prevalence of LBP was determined…using the revised Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. Full-shift work trunk posture exposure was measured using an inclinometer. RESULTS: The prevalence of LBP among hospital nurses was 72%. The highest percentage of time spent in awkward postures in the sagittal plane (trunk flexion ≥45°) and in the frontal plane (lateral bend ≥20°) was recorded in the general (65.6% ± 12.2) and orthopedic (48.4% ± 7.4) wards, respectively. Logistic regression analyses showed that the duration of exposure to awkward trunk postures had a significant relationship with LBP (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight the potential risks of nursing job in terms of frequent and extreme trunk awkward postures, which may lead to the development of LBP. The findings can help to develop guidelines regarding prioritizing ergonomic interventions to reduce the prevalence of LBP among hospital nurses.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Collecting anthropometric data for real-life applications demands a high degree of precision and reliability. It is important to test new equipment that will be used for data collection OBJECTIVE: Compare two anthropometric data gathering techniques – manual methods and a Kinect-based 3D body scanner – to understand which of them gives more precise and reliable results. METHODS: The data was collected using a measuring tape and a Kinect-based 3D body scanner. It was evaluated in terms of precision by considering the regular and relative Technical Error of Measurement and in terms of reliability by using the Intraclass…Correlation Coefficient, Reliability Coefficient, Standard Error of Measurement and Coefficient of Variation. RESULTS: The results obtained showed that both methods presented better results for reliability than for precision. Both methods showed relatively good results for these two variables, however, manual methods had better results for some body measurements. CONCLUSION: Despite being considered sufficiently precise and reliable for certain applications (e.g. apparel industry), the 3D scanner tested showed, for almost every anthropometric measurement, a different result than the manual technique. Many companies design their products based on data obtained from 3D scanners, hence, understanding the precision and reliability of the equipment used is essential to obtain feasible results.
Keywords: Anthropometry, 3D body scanner, repeatability, body measurements
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Touch screen computers require significant arm and hand movements. This can result to body discomfort and biomechanical load in users. OBJECTIVES: This study was carried out to examine posture and users’ discomfort while using touch screen device as compared with mouse-keyboard and touch pad-keyboard. METHODS: Twenty three (23) students participated in this experimental study. The subjects completed pre-defined tasks in three 15 min trials by means of touch screen, touch pad-keyboard and mouse-keyboard as input devices. Postural angles were measured by Qualisys motion capture system. Body discomfort was assessed by a 10-cm visual analog scale. Rating…scale was employed to assess the perception of subjects on the posture of body parts while utilizing the three devices. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in head inclination when using the three types of devices. Nevertheless, the mean of neck (p = 0.005) and trunk (p < 0.0001) inclinations as well as arm angle (p < 0.0001) while using touch screen, differed significantly from the two other devices and were more deviated from neutral posture. The type of input device was found to have significant effect on the right shoulder (p = 0.017), right elbow (p = 0.031), right wrist/hand (p = 0.004) and whole body discomfort (p = 0.026). Touch screen caused more discomfort in the mentioned regions when compared to the other two devices. Friedman test showed that differences of mean ratings for perceived shoulder and elbow postures in the 3 trials were significant (p = 0.005 and p = 0.011, respectively). Touch screen was the most unfavorable input device based on the subjects’ judgment. CONCLUSION: Touch screen caused more deviated postural angles, increased body discomfort and unfavorable postures.
Keywords: Motion analysis, data entry device, postural angles
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that social support is important for health and performance at work, but there is a lack of research regarding managers’ social support at work, and if it needs to be improved OBJECTIVE: To investigate managers’ perception of work-related social support, and facilitators and hindrances that influence their seeking of social support at work. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with sixty-two managers in two Swedish organizations. RESULTS: Work-related support, which strengthened their managerial image of being competent, was sought from sources within the workplace. Sensitive and personal support, where there was a…risk of jeopardizing their image of being competent, was sought from sources outside the workplace. Access to arenas for support (location of the workplace, meetings, and vocational courses) and the managerial role could facilitate their support-seeking, but could also act as hindrances. Because attending different arenas for support were demanding, they refrained from seeking support if the demands were perceived as too high. CONCLUSIONS: Different supportive sources are distinguished based on what supportive function they have and in which arenas they are found, in order to preserve the confidence of the closest organization and to maintain the image of being a competent and performing manager.
Keywords: Image, health, leadership, work conditions
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Occupational injuries are a major problem in agriculture worldwide. In the Northeast region of India, most of the farm operations are carried out manually with hand operated tools and equipment. These tools also cause some nonfatal accidents. In the absence of reliable data on accidents in this region, injury prevention policy cannot be made OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to survey injury causing agricultural accidents occurring during 2010 to 2013 in Arunachal Pradesh of the northeast region to know their magnitude, causes and severity. PARTICIPANTS: In this study, four districts of Arunachal Pradesh…namely Papum Pare, Lower Subansiri, West Siang and East Siang were chosen using purposive sampling. From each district, 15 villages were selected. In these villages, a total of 50614 agricultural workers participated and 174 and 48 injuries were found for male and female workers respectively. METHOD: A case-control study was carried out in Arunachal Pradesh. The questionnaire-based approach was used for data collection. The questionnaire contains detailed information on the demographic and injury characteristics. The Demographic information included gender, age, educational background, etc. and injury characteristics included the nature of the injury, the body part injured, and type of tools and equipment that caused the injury. RESULTS: The results showed that farm tools and equipment-related accidents were maximum i.e. 144 (60%) caused due to dao followed by 19 from spade (8%), 18 from sickle (7%) and 8 from axe (3%). The foot and legs were the most frequently injured body parts. From this study, it was also revealed that male agricultural workers are more affected as compared to their female counterparts. CONCLUSIONS: Agricultural accident incident rate (AIR) was found to be 589 per 1,00,000 workers per year. The AIR for males is 462 per 100,000 workers per year which is 3.6 times higher than female workers. The root causes of accidents are the use of traditional tools and equipment in various agricultural activities. Therefore, any ergonomic interventions in designing tools and equipment will significantly improve the occupational health and safety of workers.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work capacity demands are a concept to describe which psychological capacities are required in a job. Assessing psychological work capacity demands is of specific importance when mental health problems at work endanger work ability. Exploring psychological work capacity demands is the basis for mental hazard analysis or rehabilitative action, e.g. in terms of work adjustment OBJECTIVE: This is the first study investigating psychological work capacity demands in rehabilitation patients with and without mental disorders. METHODS: A structured interview on psychological work capacity demands (Mini-ICF-Work; Muschalla, 2015; Linden et al., 2015) was done with 166 rehabilitation…patients of working age. All interviews were done by a state-licensed socio-medically trained psychotherapist. Inter-rater-reliability was assessed by determining agreement in independent co-rating in 65 interviews. For discriminant validity purposes, participants filled in the Short Questionnaire for Work Analysis (KFZA, Prümper et al., 1994). RESULTS: In different professional fields, different psychological work capacity demands were of importance. The Mini-ICF-Work capacity dimensions reflect different aspects than the KFZA. Patients with mental disorders were longer on sick leave and had worse work ability prognosis than patients without mental disorders, although both groups reported similar work capacity demands. CONCLUSIONS: Psychological work demands – which are highly relevant for work ability prognosis and work adjustment processes – can be explored and differentiated in terms of psychological capacity demands.
Keywords: Mental disorders, mental health, sick leave, work ability, work demands
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The train toilet can form a barrier for those wishing to travel by train as it is perceived as being dirty, and therefore its use as being unpleasant. In addition, Dutch train toilet users have the additional issue of storing their hand luggage in the toilet’s confined space OBJECTIVE: In this article, we examine the issue of Dutch travelers with hand luggage in relation to their use of train toilets. We investigate the type of hand luggage train travelers have with them and lastly, we study what travelers do with their hand luggage when using the toilet.…METHODS: As part of an overarching study, we asked two specific questions on what travelers do with their hand luggage in a train toilet environment, followed by 22 observations from observational research. RESULTS: In the questionnaire, train travelers reported that bringing hand luggage into the train toilet is a problem because of the lack of storage space, and their fear of losing their seat. From the observational research, we noted that the participants mainly held their hand luggage on their bodies, and to a lesser extent, they placed it on the floor of the train toilet itself. None of the 22 participants used the hook to hang up their bag and/ or their coat. CONCLUSIONS: Travelers need a facility in the train toilet to store their hand luggage. Women have a stronger need for this than men, as they almost always carry an item with them. In addition, they use the toilet in hovering position or seated, with their backs to the wall, so they have limited space to store hand luggage on their backs or shoulders as men do. Most participants kept their hand luggage at a distance from the bowl, and the majority kept it off the floor (14 of the 22) because they were aware of the hygiene. The positioning of the coat/luggage hook at 1840 mm above the floor was considered to be too high, out of people’s comfort area.
Keywords: Train toilet, hand luggage, coat, bags, storage and observational research
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Stakeholders involved in the return-to-work (RTW) process have different roles and qualifications OBJECTIVE: To explore the perspectives of Australian stakeholders of the RTW barriers and strategies for a worker with an upper extremity condition and a complex workers’ compensation case. METHODS: Using a case vignette, stakeholders were asked to identify barriers and recommend strategies to facilitate RTW. Content analysis was performed on the open-ended responses. The responses were categorised into RTW barriers and strategies using the biopsychosocial model. Pearson’s Chi Square and ANOVA were performed to establish group differences. RESULTS: 621 participants (488…healthcare providers (HCPs), 62 employers, 55 insurers and 16 lawyers) identified 36 barriers (31 modifiable): 4 demographic; 8 biological; 15 psychological and 9 social barriers. 484 participants reported 16 RTW strategies: 4 biological; 6 psychological and 6 social strategies. ‘Work relationship stressors’ (83.4%) and ‘Personal relationship stressors’ (64.7%) were the most frequently nominated barriers. HCPs most frequently nominated ‘Pain management’ (49.6%), while employers, insurers and lawyers nominated ‘RTW planning/Suitable duties programs’ (40.5%; 42.9%; 80%). CONCLUSIONS: Stakeholders perceived similar barriers for RTW but recommended different strategies. Stakeholders appeared to be more proficient in identifying barriers than recommending strategies. Future research should focus on tools to both identify RTW barriers and direct intervention.
Keywords: Sick leave, rehabilitation, hand, wrist, work disability
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The relationships among job demands, personality factors, recovery and psychological health receive increasing attention but are not well understood OBJECTIVE: Therefore, the present study tests moderating effects among a sample of managers as proposed by the stressor-detachment model. We aimed to determine whether core self-evaluations (CSE) had an influence on the correlations between detachment and strain reactions (depressive symptoms, irritation, exhaustion) and between job demands and detachment. Further, we tested whether detachment attenuates the positive relation between job demands and strain reactions. METHODS: A convenience sample of managers in three German settings (N = 282) participated in…the cross-sectional study. RESULTS: Results based on hierarchical regression analysis showed that high CSE significantly weakened the negative relationship between detachment and depressive symptoms in this sample. However, CSE did not moderate the negative relationship between job demands and detachment. Moreover, results revealed that detachment moderated the positive relation between job demands and exhaustion. CONCLUSIONS: The authors tested whether CSE was able to moderate the relationship between job demands, psychological detachment and different stress reactions. Although we found a significant interaction effect, CSE may be too distal to moderate all respective associations.