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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: Workplace Ergonomics and Human Factors (E/HF) remains as relevant and important as ever to respond to contemporary workplace design challenges. Therefore, E/HF expertise must be involved in early and appropriate phases of the workplace design process, in order to leverage user needs and requirements to constrain the proposed design solution. In this process, design decisions are made. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this article is to describe the use of a systems-theoretical framework as a guide in collaborative workplace design, focussing on planning and documenting which decisions and activities should involve E/HF expertise. METHODS: As this…is a conceptual paper, its method is to synthesise a framework from a combination of design process methodology-, general systems theory- and sociotechnical systems literature. RESULTS: The framework organises the design decisions to be made into hierarchical abstraction levels and cross-cuts them into five perspectives from which the design problem can be viewed holistically. CONCLUSIONS: The ACD3 framework is intended as an enabler of many types of design, including the design of work systems. It provides a framework that allows all stakeholders to converge around design decisions that ensure that the work system is optimised to human characteristics and the activity to be performed.
Keywords: Activity centred design, ergonomic activities, ergonomic design, systems
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Lumbar disc-related disorders are a main cause of work-related osteo-articular morbidity. Lumbar disc surgery (LDS) has been chosen as sentinel event for the epidemiological surveillance of these disorders since LDS can be identified in the medical databases from public and private hospitals. OBJECTIVE: To assess the theoretical impact of workplace-based primary interventions designed to reduce exposure to personal and/or work-related risk factors for LDS. METHODS: Cases of LDS were assessed using hospital discharge records for persons aged 20–64 in 2007-8 in the French Pays de la Loire region. We estimated the number of work-related cases…of LDS (WR-LDS) in high-risk industry sectors. Three theoretical scenarios of workplace-based primary prevention have been simulated: a mono-component work-centered intervention reducing the incidence of WR-LDS by 10%, and two multicomponent global interventions reducing the incidence of all cases of LDS by 5% and 10% by targeting personal and occupational risk factors. RESULTS: Four high-risk sectors were identified, amounting to 277 [216–352] cases, of which 98 [37–175] were WR-LDS: construction and information & communication for men; wholesale & retail trade and accommodation & food service activities for women. AFE was limited for each industry sector, 30%, 50%, 33% and 55%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Prevention scenarios combining actions on personal and occupational risk factors would be the most effective, compared to prevention focused only on occupational risk factors. Implementing actions of promotion of health at work would be necessary in addition of actions on occupational risks.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Measurement of hand exertion is very important to quantify the risk of Work-related Musculoskeletal Disorders (WMSDs) in manufacturing fields. Although a direct measurement is the most accurate way to quantify physical load, it is expensive and time consuming. To solve this limitation, a subjective self-report method has been proposed as a possible alternative. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze the accuracy of subjective perception for grip force exertions associated with handedness (dominant and non-dominant hands). METHODS: A total of nine healthy adults participated in this study. All participants were…asked to exert hand grip forces for randomly selected target force levels without any information about the actual target force levels. Then, participants were also asked to rate the subjective perception of their exertion level using % Maximum Voluntary Contraction (MVC) after each hand grip force exertion. RESULTS: The trend of subjective perception for various target force levels was different according to the handedness. In the case of the dominant hand, participants tend to rate less MVC levels (under-estimation) than the actual target force levels at lower than 50% MVC, whereas they tend to rate more MVC levels (over-estimation) than the actual target force levels at higher than 50% MVC, respectively. In case of non-dominant hand, generally participants showed over-estimate for all levels of MVCs in this study. CONCLUSIONS: According to the results of this study, subjective perception of exertion showed different patterns on the handedness (S-shape for dominant hand vs . over-estimation for non-dominant hand) for various target force levels. Therefore, it would be necessary to apply different criteria for each hand to evaluate subjective perception of hand grip exertion tasks.
Keywords: Subjective perception of exertion, hand grip exertion, % maximum voluntary
contraction, Borg’s CR-10 Scale, work-related musculoskeletal disorders
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Flexed head and neck postures are associated with the development of neck pain in the office environment. There is little evidence regarding whether a wearable posture sensor would improve the head and neck postures of office workers. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the wearable posture sensor on the posture and physical demands on the head and neck during office work. METHODS: Nineteen participants performed a typing task with and without the wearable sensor in the sitting and standing positions. They were allowed to adjust their workstation during the experiment based…on a psychophysical method. The flexion angles of the head and neck, the gravitational moment on the neck, and the positions of the workstation components were measured. RESULTS: On average, participants with the wearable sensor had 8% lower neck flexion angles and 14% lower gravitational moments on the neck than those of participants without the wearable sensor. The effect of the wearable sensor on reducing postural stress of the neck was more significant when using the standing workstation compared to the sitting workstation. CONCLUSIONS: The wearable posture sensor could be an effective tool to alleviate the postural stress of the neck in the office setting.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Outdoor workers experience high injury rates in the winter due to slipping on ice and snow. Our testing program has demonstrated that most safety footwear does not provide adequate slip-resistance and/or comfort in icy conditions. OBJECTIVE: Our objective was to determine which of the most commonly worn safety footwear available to outdoor municipal workers in Toronto, Ontario, Canada would best prevent slips on icy surfaces and which models had good wearability. METHODS: We selected 45 of the most popular types of winter footwear worn by these workers and applied our Maximum Achievable Angle (MAA) test…method to rate the slip-resistance of the footwear. A ten-point rating scale was used for recording participants’ perceptions of wearability. The MAA test measured the steepest ice-covered incline that participants can walk up and down without experiencing a slip. RESULTS: Of the 45 types of footwear tested, only one model achieved an MAA score of 8 degrees that exceeded our cut-off for acceptable performance set at 7 degrees. Secondary measures of performance including thermal insulation; wearability and heaviness of footwear tested were also ranked. CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate that footwear manufactures have the opportunity to differentiate their footwear by investing in slip-resistant outsole materials.
Keywords: Fall prevention, occupational injuries, vulnerable workers, slips-and-falls
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite income growth and improvement in Chinese soldiers’ social status, indicators related to occupational well-being have not improved significantly, such as job satisfaction and occupational commitment. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to examine the mediating effect of occupational commitment on the relationship between relative deprivation and job satisfaction in Chinese Army officers. Additionally, the moderating effect of career calling was also explored. METHODS: 245 army officers (184 male, 61 female) in a short-term training class were recruited as participants and completed questionnaires that measured relative deprivation, occupational commitment, career calling, and job satisfaction. Multivariate regression analysis,…bootstrap test, Sobel test, and path analysis were adopted to test the moderated mediating effect. RESULTS: Multivariate regression analysis showed that occupational commitment partially mediated the relationship between relative deprivation and job satisfaction. The results of the bootstrap estimation procedure and subsequent analyses indicated that the indirect effect of relative deprivation on job satisfaction was significant. Additionally, career calling significantly alleviated the effects of relative deprivation on occupational commitment and job satisfaction. Path analysis showed the moderated mediating model fit the data well. CONCLUSIONS: Occupational commitment partially mediates the effect of relative deprivation on job satisfaction, and career calling can moderate the effects of relative deprivation on occupational commitment and job satisfaction in Army officers.
Keywords: Occupational commitment, career calling, mediating effect, moderating effect
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Working in direct contact with the public may involve psycho-social hazards for employees who are frequently exposed to rude or verbally aggressive customers. Negative encounters may undermine employees’ well-being and job performance, impairing the quality of the service provided with tangible costs for organizations. OBJECTIVE: The paper provides a systematic review of research on customer incivility and verbal aggression in service settings using the following framework 1) antecedents of customer misbehavior as reflected in worker perceptions, customer reasons and environmental factors; 2) maladaptive and adaptive coping strategies used by service providers in response to customer incivility and…verbal aggression; 3) effects of customer incivility and verbal aggression on service providers’ well-being and work-related outcomes; and 4) practical implications for the management. We present a model of the relationships between these four areas. METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using PsychINFO and Scopus. RESULTS: Fifty-three papers (20 pertaining to customer incivility and 33 pertaining to customer verbal aggression) were included. CONCLUSION: Both customer incivility and verbal aggression may impair employees’ well-being and job outcomes. Current gaps, practical implications, and directions for future research are discussed.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Job stress can positively influence individuals’ work motivation; however, it is more typical for job stress to have adverse physical and psychological effects, which in turn undermine job satisfaction. OBJECTIVE: The present study has two purposes: to evaluate the effect of the health-promotion lifestyle and job stress to job satisfaction and turnover intention, respectively; and to investigate the moderating effect of mindfulness on each relationship. METHODS: The present study surveyed 200 nurses employed at small-to-medium-sized hospitals in South Korea. To verify the internal consistency, the reliability of the scales that was administered with the Cronbach’s…alpha. Correlations between mindfulness, health-promotion lifestyle, job satisfaction, stress factors, and turnover intention were analyzed. The moderating effect of mindfulness on the relationships among aforementioned measures were evaluated. RESULTS: We found significant associations between the health-promotion lifestyle and job satisfaction (p < 0.001), and mindfulness had a moderating effect on the relationship between the health-promotion lifestyle and job satisfaction (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The enhancing effect of mindfulness in these relationships can suggest an important role of mindfulness in the relationship between life style and job attitude.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Quality of life is important at all ages, but maintaining a high quality of life is especially crucial to improve the functional capabilities of elder populations. AIM: To investigate the relationship between quality of life and the functional capabilities of elderly Brazilian women participating in the Open University for senior citizens (UATI) in the state of Bahia, Brazil. METHODS: A cross-sectional study involving 51 elderly women was performed along with the completion of sociodemographic, WHO Quality of life – BREF (WHOQOL-BREF) and WHO Quality of life – OLD (WHOQOL-OLD) questionnaires, and standardized functional capacity tests.…RESULTS: The one-way ANOVA with a post hoc Tukey test showed interactions between functional capacity tests and the intimacy, autonomy, and death or dying domains of the WHOQOL-OLD. CONCLUSION: This study highlights the relationship between regular physical activity, improved functional capability, and quality of life, as demonstrated by better performances in the functional capacity tests resulting in a wider perception of quality of life for most of the senior women involved.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is important for the designers and manufacturers to produce products with good usability and fit. The Korean anthropometric database is important as Korean industries focus on developing products with better usability. OBJECTIVE: To investigate how well the present national Size Korea anthropometric database adopted by companies and industries in Korea, in particular how well the dynamic anthropometric data are adopted. METHODS: The investigation methodology consisted of three stages: literature review, expert review and in-depth interviews. The literature review was based on a PubMed search. An online survey of 1,000 Korean civilians was carried out…using a questionnaire developed by experts in anthropometry. Finally, industry professionals and professors participated in in-depth interviews. RESULTS: The anthropometric data appear to be used mainly by universities and research institutions in Korea. Many industries including the automobile, medical, shipping, mattress and construction industries need dynamic anthropometric data, such as range of motion, angle between body parts, spinal curvature, centre of pressure and so on. CONCLUSIONS: The Size Korea database-building process needs to be modified to take into account the needs of companies and industries.
Keywords: Dynamic anthropometry, Size Korea database, range of motion, industrial application
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Grip strength is an objective measure of a person’s hand functionality and upper limb strength. In Asia, there is a lack of normative data for grip strength among the population, especially in South Korea. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the grip strength in various body postures and gender in the adult South Korean population. METHODS: A total of 100 male and 64 female subjects participated in this study. Their grip strengths were measured using a standard adjustable Jamar handle dynamometer. RESULTS: The results showed that their grip strength differed…statistically by gender, handedness, and posture. Their gender and right-hand length were the most significant predictors of their grip strength. The Asian population, including South Korea, showed a lower grip strength than the European and American populations in previous studies. CONCLUSIONS: The present study showed that the maximal isometric grip strength is affected by gender, handedness, posture, and population. Thus, gender-, population-, and posture-specific grip strength data are essential for clinical and industrial applications.
Keywords: South Korean population, dynamometer, hand strength, anthropometry, normative data
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Telehealth is an accepted service-delivery model in a variety of health professions, including occupational therapy. Telehealth holds potential for school-based occupational therapy evaluation, intervention, consultation, monitoring, and supervision. As the use of telehealth becomes prevalent, it will be important to describe the benefits and barriers to potential types of occupational therapy evaluation, intervention, consultation, monitoring, and supervision delivered via a telehealth service-delivery model. Querying stakeholder perceptions of telehealth may help guide additional precipitating factors that have not yet been explored. OBJECTIVE: This study gathers information regarding perceptions, perceived barriers, and benefits of the use of telehealth in…school-based occupational therapy practice. METHODS: School-based occupational therapy practitioners (OTP), district administrators, and related technology staff were invited to complete a survey intended to explore attitudes about the use of telehealth. RESULTS: 28.57% of respondents stated that their districts were likely to adopt the use of telehealth. Participants noted perceived barriers and benefits to the use of telehealth. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides preliminary feedback regarding school-based OTP and administrator perceptions of telehealth as a component of school-based OT practice.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: One reaction to injustice or humiliation is embitterment, a disabling emotion, which can hinder the pursuit of functional solutions for problems in life. Unemployment can be experienced differently, depending on the subjective appraisal of the cause, how a person came to being laid off, the consequences, and especially feelings of injustice. OBJECTIVE: The goal of this study is to explore the frequency and correlates of embitterment in unemployed persons in contrast to general psychological distress. METHODS: Self rating on the Posttraumatic Embitterment Scale (PTED scale), the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) and a…survey on the unemployment status of 102 randomly selected persons who were waiting in a German unemployment agency office. RESULTS: A score of ≥6 on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) was found in 40.2% of the sample, indicating severe psychological distress. Unemployment was seen as a severe, or very severe burden by 56% of participants, and judged as unjust by 40% of participants. An elevated score above 2 on the Posttraumatic Embitterment Scale was found in 25.5% participants. Appraisal and duration of unemployment, feelings of injustice, and age were related to embitterment, but not psychological distress. CONCLUSIONS: Embitterment is a destructive emotion in reaction to unemployment, which can impair functional coping.
Keywords: Injustice, humiliation, mental health, appraisal, work place
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Electric adjustable height desks (EAHD) have been promoted as an opportunity for desk based workers to stand at work but there is limited evidence that they have an effect on light physical activity. OBJECTIVE: The main objective was to determine if there would be a change in light physical activity with the introduction of EAHD. The secondary objective was to assess if there was an associated change in leisure time activity. METHODS: Activity levels were measured by step counts, self-reported activity levels and pre- and post-trial recall levels. Statistical analysis of the data was performed…with the software R. Generalised linear models were fitted to the data. A Poisson regression was used for count data. Statistical hypotheses were deemed significant if their p values were less than 0.05. RESULTS: There was a significant (p < 0.001) effect on step counts associated with allocation of EAHD and a significant (p < 0.001) increase in self-reported activity for the Intervention (EAHD) group. Having an EAHD was associated with increased activity during leisure (p = 0.039). CONCLUSIONS: Activity levels, especially light physical activity, were significantly increased with the allocation of an electric adjustable height desk. This pilot study showed that the environmental change of introduction of electric adjustable height desks into an office workplace can increase physical activity and reduce sitting durations. There is limited evidence that the increase in work activity has a positive impact on leisure time activity.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Several factors impact work productivity in employees with a psychiatric condition. OBJECTIVE: In the context of social firms (SFs) the goal of this study is to test a theoretical model to predict work productivity across time, while considering worker and workplace factors. METHODS: 222 people with a psychiatric disability employed in SFs were enrolled in a longitudinal study (6 month follow up) and completed the baseline battery of questionnaires on health (severity of symptoms), individual (self-esteem as a worker) and organizational factors (organizational constraints and supervisory support), and their work productivity (also measured at follow-up).…Path analysis was used to test the hypothetical model, assessing individual and organizational factors in the context of social firms that could facilitate or hamper work productivity in the immediate term (T1), as well as the stability of work productivity in the middle/long term (T2 or 6 month follow up). RESULTS: Work productivity of people with a psychiatric disability was affected negatively by severity of the symptoms, organizational constraints, and positively by self- esteem as a worker at T1. The stability of work productivity was significant across time (T2). Supervisor support was only related to work productivity at 6 month follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: The results highlight the importance of the supportive workplaces for people with mental disorders that SFs provide, and the stability of work productivity across time. Supervisor support seems to have a delayed impact on work productivity. In future studies, researchers could determine how individual and organizational variables influence job tenure of employees with a psychiatric disability.
Keywords: Health, individual and organizational factors, job tenure, supervisor
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Workplace violence is a global problem that includes actions collectively defined as bullying as perpetrated by a work colleague. PURPOSE: Two distinct studies were conducted to assess the feasibility of using an abridged 6-item scale within the 21- item Negative Acts Questionnaire-Revised (NAQ-R) designed to assess workplace bullying. METHODS: The pilot study was a psychometric review of the 21-item NAQ-R, and the main study was conducted to determine the reliability and the validity of using a 6-item version. Cronbach’s alpha assessed the internal consistency of the two versions of the NAQ-R. Validity was assessed using…logistic regression with theoretically related constructs with a pilot study (n = 420) using the 21-item scale, followed by the main study (n = 11,874) using the 6-item version. RESULTS: Both the pilot study (21-item)and the main study (6-item) versions of the NAQ-R demonstrated high internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha 0.93–0.86, respectively). Similar to the 21-item, the 6-item version had a significant impact on the intent to remain on the job, being personally affected, and supported the protective role of the organizational climate against exposure to negative acts. CONCLUSION: This study supports using the 6-item NAQ-R, which can reduce respondent burden and streamline data gathering and analysis.
Keywords: Bullying, negative acts questionnaire-revised, psychometrics, public