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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: A sedentary lifestyle has negative effects on many aspects of life. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of physical activity on sleep quality, job satisfaction, and quality of life in office workers. METHODS: A convenience sample of office workers from administrative staff of a university was included. There were two groups; Group I did regular physical activity for at least eight weeks, and Group II did no regular physical activity. Sleep quality, job satisfaction, and quality of life were assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the Minnesota Job Satisfaction…Scale, and the World Health Organization Quality-of-Life-Scale (WHOQOL-BREF), respectively. RESULTS: Group I included 59 individuals and Group II 50 individuals. No significant differences were found between groups in terms of age, height, weight, and the period of time worked (p > 0.05). Although no significant difference was found in terms of sleep quality (p = 0.52), the overall job satisfaction of Group I was higher than Group II (p = 0.03). All subscales of the WHOQOL-BREF for Group I was higher than Group II (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Regular physical activity could increase job satisfaction and quality of life for office workers. Further studies investigating the effect of physical activity in terms of its type, duration should be performed.
Keywords: Office workers, physical activity, sedentary, work satisfaction, well-being, NCT03247426
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Development of methodologies for making economic decisions on designing work environment studies is a theoretical challenge for researchers in occupational health sciences. There are well-defined tools available in the relevant literature for analysis of cost-efficiency associated with the assessment of an occupational exposure of interest. However, these analytical tools are not appropriate for holistic studies of the work environment as a multidimensional reality. OBJECTIVE: This article introduces an appropriate methodology for designing cross-sectional comprehensive studies of the work environment, in order to optimize the production of information on the psychosocial, ergonomic, and physical dimensions of the work…environment in regular studies. METHODS: The employment of a translog cost-utility function is suggested as a suitable way to provide cost-minimized designs for regular studies which are aimed at providing or developing multidimensional information systems of the work environment. RESULTS: The translog cost-utility function is not subject to predetermined restrictions, but has a flexibility property allowing it to be transformed to any specification that is adaptable to the specific work environmental characteristics and research requirements. CONCLUSION: The translog cost-utility function is an appropriate econometric model for optimizing the production of multidimensional information on occupational exposures in regular cross-sectional workplace studies.
Keywords: Occupational health risk factors, ordinal utility, quality criteria, economic decision, cost-utility function
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Lymphedema is one of the major complications following breast cancer treatment. The majority of women who develop breast cancer are in their years of employment. Occupational functioning and employment are issues of significant concern among women with breast cancer-related lymphedema (BCRL). We present a single-case study of a nurse living with BCRL for more than two decades in the Midwestern United States, as an exemplar to explore the ‘return-to-work’ phenomenon. METHODS: A sixty-minute, semi-structured interview was conducted with a selected single case (“Linda”), following a pre-interview survey. Themes and sub-concepts were generated through constant-comparison of evidence within…the case. RESULTS: Themes included: the feeling of being lost, functional impairments related to BCRL and bandaging, being limited yet not being limited, and experiencing different challenges with different jobs. Overall, returning to work with BCRL was a complex phenomenon involving interactions of the disease process, the work activity, the individual, and an array of contextual factors. CONCLUSIONS: Linda’s struggles, efforts, and adaptations at different career points were revealing and exemplified how individuals navigate the journey of returning to work with BCRL.
Keywords: Return to work, cancer survivorship, qualitative research, psychosocial adjustment
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Walking in daily life is often accompanied by an attention-demanding task, which requires a different attentional load and external environments. Therefore, various gaits require complex and systematic interactions between several nervous systems, such as sensory association, cognitive functions, and the musculoskeletal system. OBJECTIVE: Dual-task conditions during gait can affect the interaction between cognitive processing and motor behavior. This study investigated the effect of two types of cognitive dual tasks and one type of manual dual task (MDT) on kinematic and spatiotemporal parameters of gait in young healthy adults. METHODS: We recruited 30 healthy young adults…in this study. All participants performed normal gait, and two types of cognitive tasks (subtraction dual task, SDT; and working memory dual task, WMDT) and MDT (carrying a cup filled with water) during gait. This study assessed kinematic data during the stance and swing phases and spatiotemporal parameters. RESULTS: MDT gait showed a significant decrement of hip-joint movement during the stance phase compared to the normal gait (p < 0.05). Stride velocity significantly decreased during SDT and WMDT gait compared with the normal gait (p < 0.05). MDT gait showed significant decrement of all spatiotemporal parameters of gait compared with normal gait (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: We reported that MDT gait can induce decreased hip-joint motion during the stance phase and reduced all spatiotemporal parameters to maintain balance and reduce the risk of falling. Therefore, motor dual tasks while walking would be useful as an intervention strategy to rehabilitate or train people at risk for falling.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Previous studies indicate a variety of health challenges among musicians. Despite this, less is known concerning the roles of work-related and personal factors associated with the musicians’ mental health. OBJECTIVE: We wanted to investigate personal and work-related demands and resources associated with psychological distress in professional musicians. METHODS: Based on a sample of 1,607 of professional Norwegian musicians, we conducted a hierarchical multiple regression analysis. RESULTS: We found that personal factors such as level of neuroticism and sense of mastery had the strongest association with PD. Extraversion, openness to experience, conscientiousness, job demands…and social support did also contribute to distress in our final statistical model, but to a lesser degree. Somewhat surprisingly, work-family conflict, effort–reward imbalance and job control were not associated with PD in our final model. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that both work-related factors (job demands and social support) and personal resources (personality and sense of mastery) are associated with PD among musicians in this cross-sectional study. Prospective research is needed in order to investigate these associations further. Meanwhile, we suggest to emphasize early development of sense of mastery and social support in music education and industry.
Keywords: Work environment, musicians’ health, psychological distress, personality, job demands-resources
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Health coaching promotes healthy lifestyles and may be particularly helpful for employees with chronic disease. OBJECTIVE: Evaluate the effects of a health coaching program that targeted health-system employees with at least one cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor. METHODS: Fifty-four employees volunteered for a health coaching program (6-session, 12-week program, at least one cycle). 40 (74%) completed (mean age [SD] = 53.3 [10.3] years, Female = 95%, Caucasian = 83%). A certified and integrative health coach/nutritionist provided coaching. Self-reported outcomes were collected using a pre-post design. RESULTS: Participants reported high rates of obesity (75%), hypertension (52.5%), diabetes/prediabetes (47.5%), and hyperlipidemia…(40%). In addition, 20% reported chronic pain/rehabilitation needs, 17.5% seasonal depression, and 30% other significant co-morbidities. Following coaching, participants reported significant weight loss (mean [SD] 7.2 [6.6] pounds, p < 0.0001, d = 1.11), increased exercise (from 0.8 to 2.3 sessions/week, p < 0.001, d = .89), reduced perceived stress (p < 0.04, d = .42), and a trend for improved sleep (p = 0.06, d = .38). Reduced stress correlated with both increased exercise (r = –.39, p < 0.05) and decreased fatigue (r = .36, p = 0.07). CONCLUSION: Health coaching for healthcare employees with obesity and other CVD risk factors is a promising approach to losing weight, reducing stress, making healthy lifestyle changes, and improving health and well-being.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Work-related stress is a significant health and safety concern. OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of burnout and occupational stress among emergency department (ED) professionals and to identify associated factors. METHODS: A cross-sectional study included all ED professionals of a French university hospital. Data were collected using the French versions of the Maslach Burnout Inventory and the Karasek Job Content Questionnaire. RESULTS: Of the 166 respondents (75.8%), 19.3% reported burnout and 27.1% job strain. Factors associated with burnout were work-related dissatisfaction, fear of making mistakes, lack of time to perform tasks, and being younger.…Those factors associated with job strain were having at least one sick leave in the past year, being affected by hard work, interpersonal conflicts at workplace, and sleep disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Compared to the literature, our results showed a lower prevalence of burnout among physicians but similar among paramedics. The proportion of professionals with job strain was higher than that of the whole French working population. Organizational factors and the work environment were the primary causes of burnout and job strain, while being younger was the only associated sociodemographic factor. The identification of professionals experiencing difficulty is essential to ensure patient safety, particularly in the high-risk field of emergency medicine.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: In occupational rehabilitation programs, return-to-work is a key outcome measure; however, the studies either used different definitions for return-to-work or do not provide their definition. In order to provide a solution to this issue, we developed a self-report return-to-work measure. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the reliability and validity of a self-report return-to-work questionnaire in a cohort of workers with a work-related injury. METHODS: Two research assistants independently administered the baseline questionnaires and a follow-up questionnaire. The questionnaires contained work-related questions (e.g., currently working, if duties changed) that were used to create a four-category work status measure.…Pain-related and a recovery questions were also asked. We obtained loss of earnings data from the compensation board. The short-term reliability and convergent validity were assessed. RESULTS: We recruited 75 workers, and 57 completed the test-re-test baseline questionnaire, and 51 completed the follow-up. The mean age was 45.4 years and 57% were female. The participants had a mixture of musculoskeletal injuries. Most were in the acute stage, but 17% of the participants were injured for more than a year. The short-term reliability of current working status had a kappa value of 0.90. Participants who were not working had higher levels of pain-related disability than those who were working. The kappa value for the agreement between self-reported working status and administrative data on receiving any loss of earnings payment was around 0.65. CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides evidence of reliability and validity for a new return-to-work measure.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Despite the importance of the legislative and insurance systems in the return to work process after an occupational injury, the perspective of the insurer on what influences return to work has rarely been documented. OBJECTIVE: To understand the barriers or facilitators for return to work, from the perspective of the insurer. METHODS: A comprehensive qualitative approach was used. Semi-directed interviews were done with nineteen (19) insurers (claims adjudicator and rehabilitation case manager) from a Canadian workers’ compensation board. A thematic analysis was done using QDA Minor Software. RESULTS: Fourteen themes (e.g. family reaction,…quality of work relationship) were classified into four categories representing the main stakeholders: worker with disability, workplace, healthcare system and compensation system. Emotional, cognitive, and adaptive reactions from the worker and his family were identified. We observed that good work relations and support practices, lack of access to medical resources, focus on the employee’s ability, and complexity and consequences of the compensation process are the main barriers and facilitators from the insurers’ perspective. Many of the perceived elements are coherent with the compensation system’s administrative and legal context. CONCLUSIONS: The results enable us to better understand the insurers’ perspective regarding what influences return to work. It reinforces the necessity to consider the administrative and legal context to better understand the insurers’ perspective.
Keywords: Qualitative research, workers’ compensation, insurance, work disability, return to work