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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: Single item presenteeism question (SIPQ) is a rating scale to assess the impact of low back pain (LBP) on presenteeism. OBJECTIVE: To translate the SIPQ into Persian language (SIPQ-P) and evaluate the reliability and validity of the SIPQ-P in participants with LBP. METHODS: In the first stage, the English SIPQ was translated into Persian language in a cross-sectional design following standard forward-backward approach with expert panel review and pilot testing. In the second stage with a prospective cohort design, 100 participants with LBP (84 male and 16 female, mean age±SD: 33.9±11.2 years) participated. Participants were…asked to answer the SIPQ-P and rate their LBP from 0 to 10 according to the numerical pain rating scale (NPRS) for concurrent criterion validity. To evaluate the convergent construct validity of SIPQ, participants completed Persian Functional Rating Index (PFRI). For the divergent validity, the Spearman’s correlation test was used to evaluate the association between the SIPQ-P and education. For the test-retest reliability, 50 participants answered the SIPQ-P after 7 days. Fifty healthy participants (mean age±SD: 24.24±8.07 years) answered the SIPQ-P for evaluating discriminant validity. RESULTS: There was a significant difference between the SIPQ-P score of participants and the healthy participants (p < 0.001). The concurrent criterion validity was demonstrated by a significant correlation between the SIPQ-P and pain NPRS (Spearman’s rho = 0.46, p < 0.001). The Spearman correlation coefficient showed a significant correlation between the SIPQ-P scores and the Persian FRI (r = 0.56, p < 0.001). There was no correlation between the SIPQ-P score and the education level (r = –0.001, p = 0.99). The ICCagreement was 0.77 indicating a very good test-retest reliability. CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that the Persian version of SIPQ is a reliable and valid scale to assess the effect of LBP on presenteeism in Persian speakers with LBP.
Keywords: Single item presenteeism question, musculoskeletal disorders, productivity, assessment, Persian language
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work-related musculoskeletal pain is usually caused by poor physical conditions, repetitive motion, and adverse environmental and psychological situations. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to assess the prevalence of musculoskeletal pain and their work-related factors among employees on offshore oil and gas installations in Iran. METHODS: Standardized Nordic Questionnaire was used to collect data. The relationship of musculoskeletal pain with job type, rest breaks, exercise, shift program, and work period was studied among employees on offshore installations. T-test and ANOVA were used for data analysis. RESULTS: Employees on offshore installations were exposed to high levels…of risk of musculoskeletal pain in their knees and back. Consequently, they reported the highest level of complaints of pain in the neck and lower back areas. Workers in drilling and tour-scheduling jobs reported the highest level of musculoskeletal pain. In the course of seven days and 12 months, the highest level of significant relationship was observed between the limbs and the work periods (tour scheduling or days-off) of the staff. CONCLUSION: The findings showed that the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders among employees of offshore facilities was high due to inappropriate working conditions such as repetitive work, lifting heavy loads and limited rest periods. Therefore, strategies must be considered to reduce the effects of disorders.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Pain is affected by pain psychological factors (PPFs), whereas relationship between PPFs and job stress are unclear. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to elucidate the relationship between PPFs and job stress in workers. METHODS: The study participants were the staff of the rehabilitation department of a core hospital. After undergoing a preliminary survey (38/43, 88% response rate), the rehabilitation workers were divided into the chronic pain group (CPG, n = 18) and the nonpain group (NPG, n = 13). RESULTS: Depression, anxiety, and magnification in the CPG were significantly associated with depressed mood and total stress…response. Anxiety in the NPG was also significantly associated with all stress responses, except irritability and feelings of anxiety. Furthermore, all subscales of the Pain Catastrophizing Scale in the NPG were significantly and negatively associated with the vigor of stress responses. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic pain in workers was associated with severe job stress, and increased job stress worsened the state of chronic pain. Pain catastrophizing may be associated with early job stress in a person with no pain. This finding revealed a difference between the CPG and NPG and may be important for managing workers with job stress or pain.
Keywords: Catastrophization, chronic pain, depression, medical staff, mental health
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In our digital society, the use of smartphones has increased rapidly. Parallel with the growing use of smartphones, musculoskeletal problems associated with intensive smartphone use have also increased. Neck flexion is the most commonly adopted posture by smartphone users while looking at the visual display terminals of smartphones for extended periods; this posture may lead to neck disorders. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the current study was to investigate musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in smartphone users in Thailand in order to confirm high prevalence of neck pain. The study also aimed to determine all possible factors associated with neck…disorders among smartphone users. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey study was conducted with 779 undergraduate smartphone users. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect self-report measures of smartphone use and musculoskeletal disorders. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze participant characteristics and the prevalence of musculoskeletal disorders. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify associated factors. RESULTS: The most painful body region after the use of smartphones over a 12-month period was found to be the neck (32.50%). Factors associated with neck disorders were a flexed neck posture (Odds Ratio (OR): = 2.44, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 1.21–4.90) and smoking (OR 8.99, 95% CI 1.88–42.87). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that to address neck disorders in smartphone users preventive initiatives should focus on reducing flexed neck postures and smoking.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: People with chronic knee pain may opt to continue to work without seeking specific ergonomic adaptations or disclose the existence or severity of their pain to work colleagues or supervisors due to the pressures of maintaining employment. To gain a deep personal perspective on how people with chronic knee pain cope while working [7, 8, 17, 18 ], qualitative research methods are a useful way of in encouraging meaningful discussion amongst workers with chronic knee pain of potential work-related strategies to minimize their work-related disability. OBJECTIVE: To conduct an in-depth exploration of the impact of chronic knee…pain on the working life of selected individuals. The specific aim was to identify barriers and enablers for promoting sustainable work within the work environment following the methodological principles from grounded theory. METHOD: Eleven workers with chronic knee pain participated in one of three focus groups (age range 51–77 years). All focus group sessions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Two researchers independently identified themes around the common challenges for continuing employment among older people with chronic knee pain. RESULTS: The main themes expressed in these focus groups were: 1) the effect of knee pain on work productivity, 2) strategies to improve work productivity, and 3) future suggestions about sustainable work for older people with chronic knee pain. New insights gained from the focus groups included the extent of physical limitations due to chronic knee pain, lack of ergonomic policies within the workplace, types of work transitions utilized to accommodate knee pain, complexity of disclosure, social support at work, and the unpredictability of future arthritis progression. CONCLUSION: This research suggests that in providing the appropriate work environment to enable individuals with knee pain to continue to be productive members of society, workplace strategies are needed to minimize the stigma and encourage communication about chronic knee pain, as well investment in appropriate ergonomic support equipment.
Keywords: Knee, osteoarthritis, qualitative research, worker productivity, work transitions
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Allied health professions (AHP) students are subject to critical levels of study-related stressors including mental health symptoms (MHS) and musculoskeletal pain. Few studies recruited AHP students of multiple academic majors simultaneously. OBJECTIVES: This study investigated and compared the prevalence of MHS severity and their associated factors among students of nine AHP majors. METHODS: A cross-sectional design was used with a sample of nine AHP academic majors (n = 838). Participants completed a validated self-administered questionnaire that included demographics and life style, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS 21), and the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire. MHS scores were…statistically compared between males and females and between majors. A general linear model (GLM) multivariate procedure was used to assess the statistical associations between MHS and their correlates. RESULTS: Mild to extremely severe MHS levels were found in 62.2% of the participants for depression, 65.3% for anxiety, and 54.2% for stress. Compared to males, females showed significantly higher levels of stress (p < 0.01) and depression (p = 0.018). MHS were statistically associated with gender, physical health, diet quality, study difficulty, satisfaction with academic major, academic major and musculoskeletal pain. University GPA demonstrated negative significant correlations with MHS. CONCLUSIONS: MHS in AHP students are prevalent and should be accounted for by AHP educators. More studies are encouraged to assess actual mechanisms causing MHS among AHP students, and effective treatment programs are needed.
Keywords: Academic stress, occupational health, musculoskeletal pain, medical education
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Low back pain (LBP) is a common health problem with high reoccurrence rate. As patients with LBP are often found to be proprioception impaired, new proprioception exercises should be explored. Whole body vibration (WBV) has been proven to improve muscle function and proprioception. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of WBV on spinal proprioception when WBV was administered in standing and seated postures. METHODS: Twenty healthy male individuals (mean age: 23.2±1.2 years) were recruited and randomly assigned to two WBV groups: WBV in standing or WBV in seated posture. Their…body posture, lumbar repositioning ability, maximum reaching distance and lumbopelvic coordination during dynamic motion in flexion and extension were assessed before, immediately after, 30 minutes after and 1 hour after 5 minutes of WBV (18 Hz, 6 mm amplitude) exposure. A Mixed ANOVA was used to analyze the effects of group and time factors on these four outcome measures. RESULTS: There were no significant interaction (group and time) and group effects on all outcome measures. Participants were found to have significant different time effect on body posture, lumbar repositioning ability, maximum reaching distance and lumbopelvic coordination. CONCLUSIONS: WBV could significantly improve spinal proprioception including body posture, lumbar repositioning ability, maximum reaching distance and lumbopelvic coordination in healthy individuals. WBV protocol is recommended to confirm its clinical application for improving spinal proprioception and its effects on patients with LBP is warranted.
Keywords: Body posture, proprioception, lumbar spine, low back pain
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (UEMSD) is reported worldwide as the second-largest occupational musculoskeletal disorder in agriculture. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study is to identify facilitators and barriers for employers and workers for implementing interventions to reduce work-related risk factors associated with occupational UEMSD in the agricultural sector, according to health and safety consultants. METHODS: An expert panel was used comprising nine health and safety consultants from the Dutch agricultural sector. RESULTS: Facilitators and barriers for employers and workers were categorized in the following themes: knowledge, skills, attitude, culture, costs, loss of income,…facilitation and employability. There were no differences in facilitators and barriers between UEMSD. CONCLUSIONS: Facilitators and barriers for implementing preventive interventions in agriculture were on organizational level, like diversity in choice of preventive devices, and personal level such as willingness if there is no work disability.
Keywords: Risk factors, work related musculoskeletal disorders, prevention, implementation
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The Values in Action Inventory of Strengths (VIA-IS) operationalizes 24 character strengths that compose the six virtues proposed in Peterson and Seligman’s classification theory. Though the utility of the VIA-IS has been demonstrated in the general population, its applicability to the study of psychosocial adaptation in rehabilitation for individuals with disabilities has been controversial. OBJECTIVE: The present study was to develop a measure of rehabilitation clients’ positive traits, the Adapted Inventory of Virtues and Strengths (AIVS) designed to complement the applicability issues of the VIA-IS. METHOD: Step-by-step AIVS development procedures are presented, and the AIVS…factor structure identified via factor analysis is interpreted from a psychosocial adaptation perspective and compared to the VIA-IS factor structure. RESULTS: AIVS subscales include Courage, Integrity, Practical Wisdom, Committed Action, and Emotional Transcendence. Construct validity was assessed by correlating AIVS factors with measures of resilience, life satisfaction, and well-being. CONCLUSIONS: The AIVS offers a reliable framework that has clinical utility for strengths-based rehabilitation practice.