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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: Burnout, work engagement and work addiction are all considered components of psychological health in the workplace. Past research indicates that healthcare providers face significant challenges to their psychological wellbeing in the workplace. OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine the extent of these components in a sample of Canadian occupational therapists. METHODS: An anonymous electronic survey including standardized measures of burnout, work engagement and work addiction. RESULTS: Participants’ scores at times differed from previous research on burnout in the occupational therapy profession in that they demonstrated higher depersonalization scores and lower emotional exhaustion scores.…Relationships emerged among a number of elements within the various measures, and participants’ age and years of experience. Scores indicating a risk of burnout and work addiction clustered at certain times across participants’ years of experience, and scores for vigour were low in comparison to an international study of healthcare workers. However, scores in other elements were high (for example, dedication and personal accomplishment), which theorists propose may serve a protective role in mitigating high scores in negative elements. CONCLUSIONS: Findings demonstrate a risk for diminished work-related psychological health and point to key areas for further investigation around which targeted interventions could be organized for members of the occupational therapy profession.
Keywords: Psychological wellbeing, workplace health, occupational health and safety, mental health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The flexible working and business model of coworking spaces inherits the provision of workspace and further the construction of a network for entrepreneurs, creative and knowledge workers. Until now, research on coworking spaces is scarce in the field of health sciences. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated reasons and motives for working in coworking spaces and working conditions under health related aspects. Demands and resources while working in coworking spaces were analyzed according to a theoretical model for (Job-demands-resources model – JDR) perceived working conditions. METHODS: Twenty semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with coworkers (n = 14) and…coworking operators (n = 6) in Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. Participants were asked to describe the reasons and motivations for working in coworking spaces and their perceived working conditions. Transcripts were analyzed according to content analysis. RESULTS: The most mentioned reason for using coworking spaces were the community aspect (n = 15) followed by the alternative to home office (n = 12). Negative job demands seem to result from unfavorable ergonomic conditions, working disruptions, miscommunications and missing privacy. Time flexibility, social surrounding and increased productivity were interpreted as job resources. CONCLUSIONS: These results can be seen as a basis for further quantitative research in order to generalize these findings, by testing hypotheses and develop workplace-related concepts for health management.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: No research has been undertaken about employability assessment of total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance claims. Employability assessment provides vocational information to life insurers to help decide claims. To determine how helpful employability assessment is, a new measure was needed to survey insurers. OBJECTIVE: To generate survey items by harnessing the knowledge and agreement of rehabilitation advisors with expertise in employability assessment. METHODS: A panel of 10 (89% of eligible Australian rehabilitation advisors) participated in an adapted three-round Delphi process. Rounds 2 and 3 were incorporated into a novel real-time card sort format.…RESULTS: From 94 potential items submitted for first round qualitative analysis, 36 items in four domains—quality, content, utility, and claims—were generated. Two quantitative ranking rounds in one face-to-face session produced a 21-item prototype. The final electronic survey instrument contained 11 sections seeking insurer demographics and feedback on: external providers; employability assessment concepts, components, quality, and usefulness; functional, occupational, labor market items; and finally, cost and type. Our Delphi process was anonymous, completed in four weeks with 100% response rate and 75% agreement. More time between Rounds 2 and 3 would enhance statistical analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Our adapted Delphi methodology for survey item generation is generalizable for any panel able to meet in person.
Keywords: Life insurance, forensic, medicolegal, vocational expert, vocational
rehabilitation, lump sum benefit
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There are many potential training exercises for office workers in an attempt to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. However, to date a suitable tool to monitor the perceived exertion of those exercises does not exist. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the Borg CR-10 scale to monitor the perceived exertion of office exercise training. METHODS: The study involved 105 staff members employed in a government office with an age range from 25 to 50 years. The Borg CR-10 scale was self-administered two times, with an interval of two…weeks in order to evaluate the accuracy of the original findings with a retest. Face validity and content validity were also examined. RESULTS: Reliability was found to be high for the Borg CR-10 scale (0.898). Additionally a high correlation between the Borg CR-10 scale and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was identified (rs = 0.754, P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This study found the Borg CR-10 scale to be a reliable and valid tool for monitoring the perceived exertion of office exercise training and may potentially be useful for occupational therapists to measure physical activity intensity levels.
Keywords: Perceived exertion, office worker, monitoring, validity and reliability
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Stress and recovery have recently been linked to health issues and back pain (BP) occurrence. However, the evaluation of these aspects in prevention programs has not been approached so far. OBJECTIVES: The primary aim of this study was to exploratively scrutinize the effectiveness of recovery interventions to reduce BP within a multimodal, out-patient prevention program. The secondary aim consisted in the evaluation of these recovery interventions in terms of reducing stress and increasing recovery. METHODS: A prospective cohort study with 58 employees was conducted. Thirty-one individuals participated in a multimodal out-patient prevention program for 12-weeks,…with recovery interventions being conveyed as add-ons. The control group did not receive treatment. At baseline (T0 ) and after the prevention program (T1 ), both groups completed psychometric instruments assessing BP, stress, and recovery. RESULTS: A MANOVA indicated that Pain Intensity (p = 0.039), Disability (p = 0.011), and Overall Stress (p = 0.001) were significantly reduced in the intervention group compared to the control group. Overall Recovery (p = 0.008) significantly improved in the intervention group while deteriorating in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: The outcomes emphasize the relevance of recovery tools for BP prevention and for reducing stress and enhancing recovery in an out-patient prevention program.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Residents in all fields of medicine experience high levels of burnout and less job-related satisfaction due to the stress experienced during training. Reduced complement residency classes often experience increased workloads due to the need to compensate for the fewer number of classmates. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study was to examine whether residency classes of reduced size experience higher levels of burnout. METHODS: The Maslach Burnout Inventory Survey was distributed to all orthopaedic residents at our institution for four consecutive years. Emotional exhaustion≥27 and depersonalization≥10 correlate with high levels of burnout. At our institution, two…residents were lost during their second year of training. Group 1 (n = 56) consisted of residents with reduced-size classes, while group 2 (n = 60) consisted of residents with full complement classes. RESULTS: Mean emotional exhaustion (29 vs. 30) and depersonalization (17 vs. 17) scores were comparable between reduced and full complement classes. The Maslach data from our study showed no statistical difference in burnout levels between classes of full complement and reduced complement. CONCLUSIONS: When compared to a previous study on burnout conducted in large orthopaedic residency programs, our entire residency program did demonstrate similar levels of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.
Keywords: Maslach manual, residency training, orthopaedic surgery, Prospective Cohort Study Level II
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is well known that electrical accidents can cause physical injury. Less well known is that long-term consequences may include emotional and cognitive problems. OBJECTIVE: To explore electricians’ experiences and perceptions of work-related electrical accidents, with focus on psychological short- and long-term consequences, including how contacts with health care services and the workplace were perceived. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with 23 Swedish male electricians, aged 25– 68, who had experienced at least one electrical accident and reported residual sensory, musculoskeletal, cognitive or emotional symptoms. Data was analyzed by means of qualitative content analysis. RESULTS:…Immediate emotional reactions included surprise, confusion, fear, anxiety, and anger; also long-term consequences were seen. Experiencing a no-let-go situation was particularly stressful. The cause of the accident, and questions about guilt and blame were central in the aftermath. Lack of knowledge and routine among health care professionals concerning electrical injury was reported, as well as lack of medical and psychological follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: For some informants, the accident had been a life-changing event, while for others it was an event of little importance. Adequate handling at the workplace, and from health care personnel, including follow-up, could facilitate rehabilitation and return to work.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: According to a survey of the economically active elderly population in South Korea, most of them are employed in the service sector, with many men working as custodians. OBJECTIVE: This study investigates the characteristics of injuries affecting apartment custodians, one of the representative jobs for older male workers, as well as the characteristics of accident causes based on human errors. METHODS: The study used information processing as a framework to identify the cause of accidents that affected 831 male apartment custodians. This study investigated the characteristics of injured persons and features of accidents.…RESULTS: The majority of accidents were caused by human errors, in particular perceptual (45.5%) and action (26.9%) errors. The rate of accidents caused by human errors rose from 85.3% among those aged below 60 to 91.4% among those aged 70 or above. Furthermore, the rate of accidents caused by perceptual errors was higher among those aged 60 or above (45.0%) than those aged below 60 (31.4%). CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study imply that accident prevention measures must be customized to older workers according to the different employment conditions.
Keywords: Older workers, human error, occupational injury, custodian, information processing
Abstract: BACKGROUND: One of the reasons for the high unemployment amongst people with disability is a lack of knowledge on factors determining their employment. Factors associated with willingness and attitudes towards work have not been studied sufficiently amongst the general population of people with impaired functioning. Recognizing and improving attitudes to work and vocational rehabilitation may increase the employment rate of persons with disabilities. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of some demographic factors on a willingness to work and an interest in vocational rehabilitation amongst unemployed persons with confirmed disability. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey-based study amongst unemployed persons…with disabilities in a large urban area. The sample consisted of 1 547 respondents with mostly mild or moderate disabilities. The multinomial logistic regression was used to obtain relative risk ratios (RRs) for different demographic characteristics of the sample. RESULTS: An interest in vocational rehabilitation was significantly associated with older age (RR 1.36, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.5), lower disability grade (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.60), and lower expectation of a desired salary (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.88). Older age (RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.51) and more severe disability (reversed figure – RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.93) were associated with a delayed willingness to work. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst unemployed persons with severe or moderate disabilities, a better willingness to work was mostly associated with younger age and milder disability severity. Older persons with less disabilities and realistic expectations of salary rate reported an interest in vocational rehabilitation more often.
Keywords: Disability, vocational rehabilitation, return to work, willingness to work, occupational status