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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: Populations of those experiencing homelessness in the United States expand beyond those living in shelters and on the streets. Many individuals living in poverty experience housing instability, as well as refugee populations who experience deprivation of social resources due to displacement. These populations are significantly affected by social determinants of health (SDOH). OBJECTIVE: A current policy and literature review was completed to assess prominent SDOH impacting unstably housed populations in the United States, including refugees, encountered in occupational therapy practice. Review of evidence-based practice to address SDOH was completed to provide recommendations for practitioners across healthcare settings.…RESULTS: A review of policy and its impact on those experiencing housing instability or recently resettled identifies several significant barriers to full occupational performance and health management. Several specific occupational therapy interventions exist to address these barriers and are in alignment with current practice. CONCLUSION: Occupational therapy practitioners across practice settings should consider how current housing status and social determinants of health may impact their clients’ occupational performance and ability to manage health conditions.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Homelessness can impact society and individuals in many ways. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this project was to examine the current occupation-based needs and services among persons experiencing homelessness (PEH) in a major city. METHODS: Researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with eight PEH residing in a homeless shelter. Three questions were asked of each participant: What daily personal activities have been most impacted since undergoing homelessness? Which services have been most helpful to you in overcoming homelessness? What other services might you find helpful to individuals experiencing housing insecurity? Researchers also gathered qualitative data utilizing a Photovoice…component in which twelve PEH had the opportunity to photograph one object and provide a quote associated with the meaningful object. RESULTS: Under-addressed areas of occupation, services received, and services requested were identified. Findings suggest that areas of occupation most impacted by homelessness include instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), activities of daily living (ADLs), leisure, social participation, and rest and sleep. Services received included case management and often met basic self-care needs of PEH. Services requested included group therapy, restructuring of the shelter to support individualization, and staff training. CONCLUSIONS: Occupational therapy practitioners have the skill set to assess needed services among PEH. Meaningful objects captured by the clients via Photovoice may relate to past, present and future satisfaction despite being homeless.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Graduate occupational therapy students collaborated with an Area Health Education Center (AHEC) to address occupational therapy’s role in intervening for individuals who are homeless. OBJECTIVE: The purpose was to provide educational resources on specific needs related to health and wellbeing to individuals who are homeless. METHODS: A variety of methods were used to gather information on common needs of the homeless population related to health and wellbeing, community integration, and development of routines. Initial data was collected through the use of a needs assessment for nine participants with thirteen questions followed with a weekly visit…to a homeless shelter. The weekly visits allowed the students to build rapport and trust with the residents to gain an understanding of individual perspectives and barriers to occupation. RESULTS: The students worked with residents how to best access community based resources and services related to occupational needs. Specific needs were identified, and further resources were provided to support community integration, independent living, and self-management. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary findings provided a basic understanding of the foundational needs of individuals to be used to support future research linking occupational therapy to the homeless population to achieve individual goals, improve health and wellbeing, and enhance life skills management.
Abstract: Experiential and situational learning assert that learning is an ongoing process, in which the learner develops skills with in a supportive context. Consumer governance within health care settings allows consumers the opportunity to learn skills within a supportive space, and informs agencies regarding the consumer experience.
Keywords: Homelessness, communities, social support, consumer advisory
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Individuals experiencing homelessness endure occupational injustices in the form of marginalization and deprivation at higher rates than their counterparts who are not experiencing homelessness. This population’s expressed interests, needs, and desires are frequently ignored or unsolicited by a system of care that continues to exercise power over this fragile and underserved group. Marginalization and deprivation can lead to disempowerment. Few studies have been conducted that explore the perceptions of empowerment by those experiencing homelessness. Providing a “space” for the voice of those experiencing homelessness to be heard can promote occupational justice as an outcome of occupational therapy intervention.…OBJECTIVE: This pilot research sought to explore perceptions of empowerment by attendees of a day shelter for those experiencing homelessness. METHODS: Researchers used an Appreciative Inquiry approach to elicit responses to the question, “For those experiencing homelessness who attend a day shelter, what are their perceptions of how the shelter environment supports empowerment? ” This qualitative approach promotes and maintains focus on positivity and inclusivity with respect to the change process from solution identification to maintenance of identified changes. Shelter attendees participated in one of three focus groups. Based upon qualitative analysis of the data, environmental enhancements were made by the researchers and post-environmental enhancement surveys collected data related to perceptions of those enhancements to promote empowerment. RESULTS: Six themes emerged from the data and pointed to both internal and external factors that are perceived to impact empowerment. CONCLUSION: Results of this study can be used by occupational therapy practitioners to support and develop inclusive and empowerment-focused approaches for those experiencing homelessness.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Brain injury has been recently understood to be a common occurrence among adults experiencing homelessness, resulting in the need for modifications to clinical practice in agencies serving this population. OBJECTIVE: A health care agency for adults experiencing homelessness initiated a pilot training for mental health providers to address the issues of brain injury. METHODS: Providers attended eight training sessions which focused on: screening for a history of brain injury, treatment planning, and specific strategies to implement with individuals with a history of brain injury. Strategies taught were based on current literature and therapeutic methods, adapted…specifically for the clinic’s population of adults experiencing homelessness. RESULTS: Screening for a history of brain injury at the clinic indicated a high prevalence of a history of brain injury that was previously unidentified, indicating need for provider training. Providers reported increased ability to screen for and address the needs of individuals with brain injury within their clinical setting. Providers reported benefit from sessions tailored to address various cognitive functions which incorporated evidence-based practice and familiar therapeutic methods. CONCLUSION: Providers who engage individuals experiencing homelessness benefit from structured training in order to increase ability to screen for and modify interventions for a history of brain injury to better address their clients’ needs.
Keywords: Cognition, mental health, Ohio State University TBI Identification method
Abstract: Life expectancy for persons experiencing homelessness (PEH) is two decades lower than the general population; often, middle-aged adults experience such debilitating health issues due to homelessness that their physical bodies resemble that of a geriatric population. Environmental barriers limiting the ability for PEH to follow medical recommendations and access healthcare often result in decreased health outcomes for this population. The need to participate in survival occupations can reduce time spent in occupations related to health and wellness. This article presents a case study to demonstrate the impact that limited and intermittent access to healthcare can have on quality of life…and wellbeing for PEH. The case study illuminates the significant impact health concerns can cause for a PEH, including eviction from shelters, verbal abuse from staff and peers, and dehumanization. This case study and resulting manuscript are designed to explore the need for health promotion occupations within a population of PEH.
Keywords: Homeless, health management, health maintenance
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Approximately 2.2 million people are incarcerated in the United States, a disproportionate number of whom are African American, experience behavioral health conditions and are poor. Various federal and regional policies, compounded by stigma, keep the formerly incarcerated disenfranchised by restricting access to housing, employment and community engagement. OBJECTIVE: This case study highlights how public health crises of one large county led to the piloting of a multidisciplinary team to improve quality of life outcomes for those frequently arrested. METHODS: Occupational therapy was integrated into an interdisciplinary team developed to promote community integration among participants.…RESULTS: Occupational therapy aided the client in overcoming barriers of community engagement while increasing skills for independent living. CONCLUSION: By highlighting evidence-based interventions and multidisciplinary approaches, the case study illustrates the complexity of need among this population and how occupational therapy contributes to housing stability, behavioral health management, occupational engagement and quality of life.
Keywords: Jail, harm reduction, trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing, housing first