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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: A healthy and productive working life has attracted attention owing to future employment and demographic challenges. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to translate and adapt the Work Role Functioning Questionnaire (WRFQ) 2.0 to Norwegian and Danish. METHODS: The WRFQ is a self-administered tool developed to identify health-related work limitations. Standardised cross-cultural adaptation procedures were followed in both countries’ translation processes. Direct translation, synthesis, back translation and consolidation were carried out successfully. RESULTS: A pre-test among 78 employees who had returned to work after sickness absence found idiomatic issues requiring reformulation in the instructions, four…items in the Norwegian version, and three items in the Danish version, respectively. In the final versions, seven items were adjusted in each country. Psychometric properties were analysed for the Norwegian sample (n = 40) and preliminary Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were satisfactory. A final consensus process was performed to achieve similar titles and introductions. CONCLUSIONS: The WRFQ 2.0 cross-cultural adaptation to Norwegian and Danish was performed and consensus was obtained. Future validation studies will examine validity, reliability, responsiveness and differential item response. The WRFQ can be used to elucidate both individual and work environmental factors leading to a more holistic approach in work rehabilitation.
Keywords: Translation, work disability measurement, work outcome measure, work participation, work rehabilitation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In the complex interaction between individual and environmental factors the return to work self- efficacy (RTWSE) plays a key role. RTWSE is the belief in the capacity to meet the demands required for RTW. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore how individuals on sick leave experience their RTWSE. METHOD: A modified phenomenology method was used. This perspective is useful in qualitative research to understand complex phenomena such as RTWSE. It was designed as an interview study and nine individuals participated in the age from 30 to 60 years. RESULTS: Four…main themes with a total of ten sub-themes emerged from the analysis showing different aspects of RTWSE. The experience of working capacity in terms of health perception and the general sense of self-efficacy shaped the more specific RTWSE. The pursuit towards an active and fulfilling life and regaining control together with autonomy and the experience of support from others influenced the RTWSE. CONCLUSIONS: RTWSE is a global phenomenon reflecting the experience of vital parts of the life-world. RTWSE is about working capacity, but also concerns engagement in a meaningful occupation, being independent and participating. A holistic approach is therefore needed in order to strengthen self-efficacy.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Worksites offer a unique opportunity to increase physical activity in persons with both active and sedentary lifestyles. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine employee and supervisor perspectives on feasibility and acceptability of 10-minute Instant Recess ® physical activity videos in the worksite. METHODS: Convenience sample of public and private worksites in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Employees (n = 187) at 13 worksites were recruited by a one-time email invitation to participate in a group Instant Recess break and complete a 15-question survey. One supervisor per site participated in a one-on-one interview to assess suggestions…for feasibility of implementation. Likert-type survey responses were averaged per worksite and overall. Interview results were recorded, transcribed, and coded by two authors. RESULTS: Employees were extremely positive about enjoyment, increased productivity, comfort, and feasibility of doing Instant Recess at the same time and place every day (score = 4.29, 4.17, 4.25, and 4.37 out of 5, respectively). However, they did not feel comfortable leading an Instant Recess break (score = 2.68 out of 5). Supervisors voiced during the one-on-one interviews that they enjoyed Instant Recess (13 out of 13 supervisors), were enthusiastic about Instant Recess as a simple and cost-effective entry into worksite wellness (11 out of 13 supervisors), and felt that Instant Recess could be institutionalized by offering it daily at a set time and place (13 out of 13 supervisors). CONCLUSIONS: Employees and supervisors at various worksites believed that it is feasible and desirable to offer 10-minute physical activity breaks using videos during the workday.
Keywords: Workplace wellness, health promotion programs, intervention
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Disability management (DM) is a systematic method to ensure job-retention and job-reintegration in competitive employment for individuals with a disability. There is evidence that ‘returning to work’ has a positive impact on the individual, the company and on the society. However, a clear overview of the efficacy and efficiency of the DM programs is scarce. OBJECTIVE: To systematically review the efficacy and efficiency of the disability management programs. Cochrane, PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science were searched from 1994 to 2015. METHODS: Two reviewers independently evaluated the articles on title, abstract, and full text.…The data extraction and results are documented according to the study designs. RESULTS: Twenty-eight articles were included in the review. These 28 articles consisted of 7 systematic reviews, 3 randomized controlled trials, 9 clinical trials, 4 mixed-method studies and 5 qualitative studies. CONCLUSIONS: The DM program has shown to be effective and efficient. A consensus about the DM components is still not reached. Nevertheless, some components are emphasized more than others; job accommodation, facilitation of transitional duty, communication between all stakeholders, health care provider advice, early intervention, and acceptance, goodwill and trust in the stakeholders, in the organization, and in the disability management process.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite their disadvantaged labour market position, women consistently report higher levels of job satisfaction than men. Researchers have attributed women’s higher job satisfaction to their lower expectations, arguing that gender differences will fade away as women’s labour market prospects improve. Others, however, argue that women are more contented than men because their jobs satisfy a need for family adaptions. OBJECTIVE: In this article, we put the hypotheses of transitions and trade-offs to a strong test, by comparing men and women with comparable human capital investments living in a country where women’s employment is strongly supported by policies,…practices and social norms. METHODS: The relationship between gender and job satisfaction is analysed with stepwise OLS regressions. The analysis is based on a survey to newly graduated highly educated men and women in five occupations in Sweden (n ≈ 2 450). RESULTS: First, we show that, after controlling for a range of job characteristics, women report a higher level of job satisfaction than men. Second, although the paradox appears to be surprisingly persistent, it cannot be attributed to work-family trade-offs. CONCLUSIONS: Future research should consider job satisfaction more broadly in the light of gender role socialization and persistent gender inequalities.
Keywords: Job satisfaction, gender, preferences, work-family, Sweden
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Organizations have become increasingly concerned about mental health issues in the workplace as the economic and social costs of the problem continue to grow. Addressing employees’ mental health problems and the stigma that accompanies them often falls to supervisors, key people in influencing employment pathways and the social climate of the workplace. OBJECTIVE: This study examines how supervisors experience and perceive mental illness and stigma in their workplaces. It was conducted under the mandate of the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s Opening Minds initiative. METHODS: The study was informed by a theoretical framework of stigma…in the workplace and employed a qualitative approach. Eleven supervisors were interviewed and data were analyzed for major themes using established procedures for conventional content analysis. RESULTS: Themes relate to: perceptions of the supervisory role relative to managing mental health problems at the workplace; supervisors’ perceptions of mental health issues at the workplace; and supervisors’ experiences of managing mental health issues at work. The research reveals the tensions supervisors experience as they carry out responsibilities that are meant to benefit both the individual and workplace, and protect their own well-being as well. CONCLUSION: This study emphasizes the salience of stigma and mental health issues for the supervisor’s role and illustrates the ways in which these issues intersect with the work of supervisors. It points to the need for future research and training in areas such as balancing privacy and supports, tailoring disclosure processes to suit individuals and workplaces, and managing self-care in the workplace.
Keywords: Work, social stigma, qualitative research
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that today’s crane cabins fail to meet the needs of a large proportion of operators. Performance and financial losses and effects on safety should not be overlooked as well. OBJECTIVE: The first aim of this survey is to model the crane cabin interior space using up-to-date crane operator anthropometric data and to compare the multivariate and univariate method anthropometric models. The second aim of the paper is to define the crane cabin interior space dimensions that enable anthropometric convenience. METHODS: To facilitate the cabin design, the anthropometric dimensions of 64 crane…operators in the first sample and 19 more in the second sample were collected in Serbia. The multivariate anthropometric models, spanning 95% of the population on the basis of a set of 8 anthropometric dimensions, have been developed. The percentile method was also used on the same set of data. RESULTS: The dimensions of the interior space, necessary for the accommodation of the crane operator, are 1174×1080×1865 mm. The percentiles results for the 5th and 95th model are within the obtained dimensions. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study may prove useful to crane cabin designers in eliminating anthropometric inconsistencies and improving the health of operators, but can also aid in improving the safety, performance and financial results of the companies where crane cabins operate.
Keywords: Crane operator, principal components analysis, percentiles
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a neuromuscular training method that has recently received popularity in health and fitness centers, as an additional or substitute method to conventional training and therapy, in order to improve muscle strength and power. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this review is to critically observe the effect of WBV training on neuromuscular performance in view of its ability to enhance the muscles strength, power, and flexibility; and also to investigate the influence of the different vibration characteristics (viz., method of application of vibration, frequency, and amplitude) and exercise protocols on the effect of this training.…METHOD: For this review 24 studies or articles were examined, and based on exclusion and inclusion criteria, 5 studies were finally selected; and an attempt was made to uncover the factors influencing the improvement in neuromuscular performance as a result of WBV intervention. During the review, it was considered to include and discuss as many characteristics as possible, such as, knee extension, knee flexion, counter movement jump (CMJ), squat exercise, and jumping height (JH). RESULT: Whole-body vibration, along with additional exercise training, has a potential to induce substantial improvement in neuromuscular performance. CONCLUSION: Whole-body vibration can bring about improvement in muscles strength, power, and flexibility. The main factors associated with the improvement in muscles performance are range of amplitude and frequency, type of vibration and its method of application, training intensity, exercise protocol, and the characteristics of the participants.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mental health problems (MHP) are common in working life and can be hard to respond to for employers. Therefore, knowledge of employers’ perceptions of employees with MHP is important to support coping efforts of persons and their work environments. OBJECTIVE: Identify and characterise employers’ perceptions of the impact of MHP on work ability. METHODS: Twelve employers with experience of employees with MHP were interviewed. Data were analysed with a phenomenographic method. RESULTS: The first main category, “Experiences of employees with MHP”, included experiences of diffuse and unexpressed signs of the onset of MHP…and frustration among employers and work-mates which was difficult to verbalise. MHP could also be turned off, thus having no impact on work ability. The second main category, “Strategies to handle effects of MHP in the workplace”, included the importance of continual responsiveness and communication, and of fluctuating adaptations. The informants expressed diversity in the workplace as a strategy. CONCLUSIONS: Employers have experiences of, as well as strategies for, how to handle MHP at times when they impact with the ability to work. However, neither experiences nor strategies were explicitly pronounced and verbalised which makes it a challenge to develop strategies and guidelines in workplaces.