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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: Despite offering many benefits, direct manual anthropometric measurement method can be problematic due to their vulnerability to measurement errors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this literature review was to determine, whether or not the currently published anthropometric studies of school children, related to ergonomics, mentioned or evaluated the variables precision, reliability or accuracy in the direct manual measurement method. METHODS: Two bibliographic databases, and the bibliographic references of all the selected papers were used for finding relevant published papers in the fields considered in this study. RESULTS: Forty-six (46) studies met the criteria previously…defined for this literature review. However, only ten (10) studies mentioned at least one of the analyzed variables, and none has evaluated all of them. Only reliability was assessed by three papers. Moreover, in what regards the factors that affect precision, reliability and accuracy, the reviewed papers presented large differences. This was particularly clear in the instruments used for the measurements, which were not consistent throughout the studies. Additionally, it was also clear that there was a lack of information regarding the evaluators’ training and procedures for anthropometric data collection, which are assumed to be the most important issues that affect precision, reliability and accuracy. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the review of the literature, it was possible to conclude that the considered anthropometric studies had not focused their attention to the analysis of precision, reliability and accuracy of the manual measurement methods. Hence, and with the aim of avoiding measurement errors and misleading data, anthropometric studies should put more efforts and care on testing measurement error and defining the procedures used to collect anthropometric data.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Physicians working in a tertiary care injured worker clinic are faced with clinical decision-making that must balance the needs of patients and society in managing complex clinical problems that are complicated by the work-workplace context. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to describe and characterize the decision-making process of upper extremity specialized surgeons when managing injured workers within a specialized worker’s compensation clinic. METHOD: Surgeons were interviewed in a semi-structured manner. Following each interview, the surgeon was also observed in a clinic visit during a new patient assessment, allowing observation of the interactional patterns…between surgeon and patient, and comparison of the process described in the interview to what actually occurred during clinic visits. RESULTS: The primary central theme emerging from the surgeon interviews and the clinical observation was the focus on the importance of comprehensive assessment to make the first critical decision: an accurate diagnosis. Two subthemes were also found. The first of these involved the decision whether to proceed to management strategies or to continue with further investigation if the correct diagnosis is uncertain. Once the central theme of diagnosis was achieved, a second subtheme was highlighted; selecting appropriate management options, given the complexities of managing the injured worker, the workplace, and the compensation board. CONCLUSIONS: This study illustrates that upper extremity surgeons rely on their training and experience with upper extremity conditions to follow a sequential but iterative decision-making process to provide a more definitive diagnosis and treatment plan for workers with injuries that are often complex. The surgeons are challenged by the context which takes them out of their familiar zone of typical clinical practice to deal with the interactions between the injury, worker, work, workplace and insurer.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Enriched environment at work (EEW), in terms of high mental demands at work, may be of great relevance for preventative efforts against cognitive decline and dementia as previous studies have shown. Yet, there is the concern that high EEW mental demands may accelerate stress and cause burnout. OBJECTIVE: The aim of our study was to investigate how EEW mental demands are related to stress and burnout. METHOD: A convenience sample of employees in the city area of Leipzig, Germany, was asked to fill out the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory and indicate for each EEW mental demand the…level experienced, demandingness, and stressfulness. RESULTS: Multivariate linear regression and structural equation modelling suggested that only some EEW mental demands were perceived as stressful when the level of the respective EEW mental demand was high. Higher stressfulness was associated with burnout symptoms – however, high levels of EEW mental demands were not significantly associated with burnout (neither directly nor indirectly). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings implied that subjectively perceived stressfulness seems to be a more relevant aspect than the actual level of the demand itself. However, further studies are necessary to validate our findings.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The collective transportation system is essential to reduce the number of automobiles in the roads. Concerns exist related to quality, comfort and safety of bus driver’s workstations. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to improve the driver’s workstation in the private collective transportation sector by analyzing ergonomic practices using the Ergonomic Work Analysis (EWA). The EWA was chosen because it seeks to evaluate the labor condition as it relates to the psychophysiological conditions of workers, it complies with regulatory standard 17 (NR17). METHODS: To identify driver concerns, interviews and questionnaires were administered. The workstation…and worker routines were observed. RESULTS: The analysis revealed that the largest number of complaints related to noise, display light and location of the passenger identifier device. Drivers reported discomfort in the knees and lower back. CONCLUSION: Recommendations were made to improve the workstation and change the routine to minimize the discomfort and ergonomic risk factors.
Keywords: Bus driver’s health, transport system in Rio de Janeiro, mapping of driver’s tasks and activities, ergonomic risks
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mining is a hazardous occupation with elevated rates of lost-time injury and disability. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) To identify the type of lost-time injuries in the mining workforce, regardless of the kind of mining and 2) To examine the antecedent factors to the occupational injury (lost-time injuries). METHODS: We identified and extracted primary papers related to lost-time injuries in the mining sector by conducting a systematic search of the electronic literature in the eight health and related databases. RESULTS: We critically reviewed nine articles in the mining sector…that examined lost-time injuries. Musculoskeletal injuries (hand, back, limbs, fractures, lacerations and muscle contusions), slips and falls were identified as types of lost-time injuries. The review identified the following antecedent factors related to lost-time injuries: the mining work environment (underground mining), being male, age, working with mining equipment, organizational size, falling objects, disease status, job training and lack of occupational safety management teams, recovery time, social supports, access to health services, pre-injury health status and susceptibility to injury. DISCUSSIONS: The mining sector is a hazardous environment that increases workers’ susceptibility to occupational injuries. There is a need to create and implement monitoring systems of lost-time injuries to implement prevention programs.
Keywords: Work disability, health and safety, occupation, injury
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Depression reduces individuals’ function and work ability and is associated with both frequent and long-term sickness absence. OBJECTIVE: Investigate if monitoring of depression course using a self-assessment instrument in recurrent general practitioner (GP) consultations leads to improved work ability, decreased job strain, and quality of life among primary care patients. METHODS: Primary care patients n = 183, who worked. In addition to regular treatment (control group), intervention patients received evaluation and monitoring and used the MADRS-S depression scale during GP visit at baseline and at visits 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Work ability, quality of life…and job strain were outcome measures. RESULTS: Depression symptoms decreased in all patients. Significantly steeper increase of WAI at 3 months in the intervention group. Social support was perceived high in a significantly higher frequency in intervention group compared to control group. CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring of depression course using a self-assessment instrument in recurrent GP consultations seems to lead to improved self-assessed work ability and increased high social support, but not to reduced job strain or increased quality of life compared to TAU. Future studies concerning rehabilitative efforts that seek to influence work ability probably also should include more active interventions at the workplace.
Keywords: MADRS-S, primary care, depression, function, sick leave, quality of life
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Workplace smoking cessation programs can effectively assist employees to quit smoking. However, little is known about employees’ attitudes towards engagement in workplace smoking cessation programs. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to address the limited understanding of the interaction between employee characteristics and their health beliefs toward engaging in a workplace smoking cessation program. METHODS: Self-report data was collected from 897 employees of a mining company operating in two remote towns in Australia. The majority of participants were male (73%), the mean age was 36.9 years (SD = 11.5). Chi square tests of independence were used to analyze…relationships between employee characteristics and smoking cessation engagement attitudes. Engagement attitudes included: A desire to cease smoking; desire for assistance with the smoking cessation process; and intention to participate in a workplace smoking intervention. RESULTS: The findings from this study indicated that attitudes towards engagement in smoking cessation programs varied for mining employees according to gender, age, perceived severity, perceived self-efficacy, and stage of readiness to change. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide insights that health promotion practitioners may apply to inform the design and marketing of effective workplace smoking cessation programs for similar employees.
Keywords: Health belief model, stage of change, healthy people programs, occupational health, occupational health services
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The impact of positive social relationships on the health of municipal employees in the elder care sector in Sweden needs further examination. OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between health and relationships among elderly care employees using a salutogenic perspective. METHOD: Survey of all employees (n = 997) in special housing, home care and Disabled Support and Services in a Swedish municipality. The questionnaire, which had a salutogenic perspective, included information on self-rated health from the previously validated SHIS (Salutogenic Health Indicator Scale), psychosocial work environment and experiences, social climate, and health-promoting workplace relationships.…RESULTS: The response rate was 69% . Results of a multivariable linear regression model showed four significant predictors of health: general work experiences, colleague belongingness and positive relationships with managers and care recipients. In another model, colleague belongingness was significantly related to satisfaction with care recipients, work, length of employment as well as general work experiences and relationships with managers. CONCLUSION: Strengthening of positive work relationships, not only between workmates but also with managers and care recipients, seems to be an essential area for employee health promotion. Colleague belongingness may be deepened by development of a positive work climate, including satisfactory work experiences, positive manager relationships and a stable work force.
Keywords: Health promotion, salutogenic, belongingness, questionnaire
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite a rich literature on association between psychosocial factors, the demand-control-support (DCS) model and burnout, there are few integrated frameworks encompassing the DCS model, burnout and intention to quit, particularly in a technological context. OBJECTIVE: This manuscript examines the relationships between psychosocial risks, the demand-control-support (DCS) model, burnout syndrome and intention to quit following the introduction of new software at work. METHODS: Data was collected from agents and advisors working at a Canadian university and using new study management software. An online questionnaire was sent via the university’s internal mail. Finally, 112 people completed the…online survey for a response rate of 60.9% . RESULTS: The results of structural equation modeling show that psychological demands, decision latitude and social support are associated with burnout. It is also clear that burnout, in particular depersonalization and emotional exhaustion, is positively associated with intention to quit. CONCLUSIONS: The few studies that raise the negative consequences of technology on quality of life in the workplace, and particularly on health, have not succeeded in establishing a direct link between a deterioration of health and the use of technology. This is due to the fact that there are few epidemiological studies on the direct consequences of the use of ITC on health.
Keywords: Demand-control-support (DCS) model, burnout, intention to quit, software