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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: The office ergonomic design from the late 1980s to the present has undergone significant changes during the transition from typewriters to the various human computer interfaces that evolved to the present day. Designs to accommodate various sized monitors and pointing devices have posed a challenge for ergonomist and designers of office workstations. Recent research suggesting adverse health effects associated with sedentary work environments have put additional pressure to incorporate the option to stand while working. This article reviews the current available options and suggests approaches to workplace design to meet the desire for employees to vary their work environment and…the concern by management for worker health.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Prolonged, awkward postures among assembly line workers can lead to work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs). OBJECTIVE: This study determined the prevalence of WMSDs and ergonomic risk factors among assembly line workers at an electronic parts manufacturer, and introduced a low-cost ergonomic intervention. METHODS: Data were gathered by means of a questionnaire. The Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) technique was used to determine ergonomic risk factors. A low-cost intervention, designed to improve working postures was introduced. RESULTS: Most musculoskeletal symptoms were associated with the lower back (73.6%), wrist/ hands (71.7%), and neck (67.9%). Most (80%)…of the working postures analyzed using the RULA were at action levels 3 or 4. CONCLUSIONS: The ergonomic intervention resulted in a significant reduction in posture scores for the neck and trunk. This indicated that the intervention helped to improve workplace ergonomics.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A large proportion of individuals with a stroke are unable to return to work, although figures vary greatly. Due to the very high cost of post-stroke care, both tangible and intangible, in the form of long-term social consequences, it seems extremely important to search for factors responsible for the low efficiency of the rehabilitation and recovery process, because this fact has direct influence on future employment. Such knowledge would enable physiotherapists to quickly identify those patients who are at risk of rehabilitation breakdown, in order to provide them with special care and include them in intensive therapeutic treatments.…OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to assess the efficacy of post-stroke rehabilitation, evaluated within the biopsychosocial aspect. METHODS: The study consisted of 120 patients after first stroke, including 48 women and 72 men aged 58.0 (±8.6). The measure of the effects of physiotherapy in the present study was not only the improvement of the functional state (simple and complex activities of daily life, locomotive activities), but also the improvement of the mental state (mood and the sense of well-being, level of acceptance of illness, perceived self-efficacy) and the reduction of pain. The Mini-Mental State Examination, the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Generalized Self-Efficacy Scale, the Acceptance of Illness Scale, the Visual Analogue Scale, the Barthel Index, the Instrumental Activity of Daily Living and the Rivermead Mobility Index were used. All parameters were measured twice: on admission to the ward and after three weeks of physiotherapy. The characteristics of the study group were presented using descriptive statistics. The analysis of interdependence of the efficacy of physiotherapy used two non-parametric tests: the Mann-Whitney U test to compare two groups, and the Kruskal-Wallis ANOVA test to compare a greater number of groups. Correlations between characteristics with continuous distributions were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient (ρ ), and in case of categorical variables, Pearson’s chi-squared (χ 2 ) correlation coefficient. Linear regression was used to determine the hierarchy of the influence of particular characteristics on the efficacy of physiotherapy. RESULTS: Statistical analyzes show that patient’s age, time since stroke, number of comorbidities, family care capacity, marital status of the patient and also a low level of acceptance of illness, depression symptoms and lack of a sense of self-efficacy were related with low efficacy of post-stroke rehabilitation CONCLUSIONS: Comprehensive neurological rehabilitation, taking into account mental challenges and socio-economic circumstances of individuals with a stroke is essential in order to achieve high efficacy of physiotherapy. Important external factors may play a pivotal role in returning to work as well and should be taken into account during rehabilitation. Of interest should be to assess more biopsychological factors, such as acceptance of illness and a sense of self-efficacy referred to as barriers to return to work.
Keywords: KeywordsPost-stroke rehabilitation, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, neurological rehabilitation, depression symptoms, return to work, younger adults, intervention, clinical practice
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A minority of workers with work-related injuries experience challenges returning to work. While factors that hinder return-to-work (RTW) are well-documented, the consequences of failing to successfully return to work on the lives of workers who have experienced a workplace injury remain poorly understood. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to explore the experiences of workers who do not successfully return to work following a work-related injury. METHODS: Using an interpretive approach to qualitative research and maximal variability sampling, 11 workers who have sustained work-related injuries without a successful RTW and four service providers were…recruited through community organizations. Participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guide. A constant comparative approach was used to identify key themes across the worker and service provider experiences. RESULTS: The findings that emerged from the analysis capture the challenging RTW experiences of workers and describe wide ranging impacts on their lives when their workers’ compensation claims are denied or discontinued, including ongoing financial strain, family tensions, subsequent health concerns, and negative employment experiences. The findings also highlight the negative consequences of existing cost-cutting frameworks that can restrict entitlement and benefits for many people with disabilities. CONCLUSIONS: The findings from this study highlight the experiences of workers who might need additional supports throughout the RTW process, and begin to shed light on the impact on their lives when RTW is not successful.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Understanding which factors influence occupational safety and health risks is crucial to promote psychosocial risk management. OBJECTIVE: To assess the main work-related determinants of high exposure to psychosocial risk factors among Portuguese employees in the hospital setting. METHODS: Between May and July 2014, 399 employees of a public hospital completed a structured questionnaire. Psychosocial factors were assessed by the Portuguese medium length version of the Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire. Age and gender adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were computed by logistic regression models. RESULTS: The highest psychosocial risks emerged…in the p ersonality (53.8%), workplace demands (28.1%), and social relationships and leadership (24.4%) categories. Professionals with non-health care roles presented a higher risk in the worker-work interface (OR = 2.60;95% CI:1.02–6.62), that evaluated work insecurity, satisfaction and the work-family interface. Shift workers were exposed to a higher psychosocial risk in workplace demands (OR = 1.79;95% CI:1.10–2.91), personality (OR = 2.45;95% CI:1.36–4.41), and health and well-being (OR = 3.18; 95% CI:1.72–5.66). Non-government employees had a higher risk exposure in personality (OR = 2.20;95% CI:1.15–4.21), and those who were absent from work in personality (OR = 2.62;95% CI:1.41–4.86), and health and wellbeing (OR = 2.34;95% CI:1.27–4.31). CONCLUSIONS: Employees working in the hospital setting are vulnerable to psychosocial risk factors. Identifying those risks contributes to optimize workers' psychosocial health, increasing the effectiveness of the organization.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many people living with mental illness want paid work, but finding and maintaining mainstream employment remains challenging. In recent decades, social enterprises have emerged as one alternative site for paid employment. Existing research has examined the experiences of people with mental illness working in social enterprises, but less is known about the organizational character of these workplaces. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this paper is to develop a better understanding of social enterprises as organizational contexts for workers with mental illness. METHODS: The research employed a qualitative methodology, conducting semi-structured interviews with executive directors and managers…at 42 organizations operating 67 social enterprises across Canada RESULTS: While there are strong similarities in organizational mandate to create meaningful employment there are also important variations between social enterprises. These include variations in size, economic activity and organizational structure, as well as differences in hours of work, rates of pay and the nature and extent of workplace accommodation. These variations reflect both immediate organizational contexts as well as broader economic constraints that enterprises confront. CONCLUSIONS: Understanding the varied nature of social enterprises is important for thinking about future enterprise development, and the capacity of such organizations to create meaningful employment for people living with mental illness.
Keywords: Mental illness, social enterprise, workplace accommodation, employment, Canada
Abstract: BACKGROUND: An exoskeleton may assist performance of basic work-related tasks. Its application should not alter user kinematics, which compromise user safety. OBJECTIVE: This case study was used to assess whether people wearing a lower-body K-SRDTM exoskeleton could complete common work tasks without altering kinematics that may increase injury risk. METHODS: Three males performed three tasks: kneeling and standing (kneel ), lifting and lowering a weighted box floor-to-waist (lift ), and stair-climbing with a weighted box (climb ), all repeated with and without exoskeleton use (EXO, NONE). RESULTS: Kinematics with EXO often mimicked NONE.…Hip and knee flexion with EXO often exceeded NONE without increasing heart rate for kneel . During lift with EXO, participants avoided greater lateral trunk flexion associated with injuries and used the preferred semi-squat technique. Participants produced more foot clearance with EXO than NONE during climb . Other outcomes of heart rate, perceived exertion, fatigue, and usability were mixed. CONCLUSIONS: EXO augmentation does not need to alter movement kinematics during performances of kneel, lift, and climb tasks. EXO kinematic alterations did not appear to compromise user safety in terms of lateral trunk bending. It may encourage good technique, such as greater foot clearance to avoid tripping, for some tasks, and changes in lifting strategies to avoid extreme flexion and protect passive tissues.
Keywords: Ergonomics, human performance augmentation, injury prevention, musculoskeletal disorders
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The importance of experienced work stress and individual traits as well as their interplay is analyzed with regard to dysfunctional coping behavior in case of sickness. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the predictive capability of effort-reward imbalance (ERI) including overcommitment, meaning the intrinsic propensity in terms of excessive work-related expenditure (OC), in consideration of dispositional optimism/pessimism on presenteeism. METHODS: A total of 353 men and women aged 38 from the 25th panel wave of The Saxony Longitudinal Study in 2011 were included in the analysis. Effort-reward imbalance (ERI) including overcommitment was…assessed with the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire. Dispositional optimism and pessimism were quantified using the German version of the Life-Orientation-Test (LOT-R). Presenteeism was measured by single item two years later. RESULTS: Multiple regression analysis showed that the amount of the effort-reward imbalance experienced in 2011 had no statistically significant predictive potential with regard to presenteeism in 2013. After splitting the sample according to a validated effort-reward imbalance threshold, remarkable prediction of presenteeism for participants experiencing an ERI was accomplished by the moderating effect of dispositional pessimism on overcommitment (ß= 0.32; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Although ERI did not have the expected predictive capability relating to the entire sample, the detailed analysis of the moderating effect of pessimism on overcommitment and the resulting amount of explained variance for those participants experiencing an ERI is a noteworthy finding.