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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: Medical respite programs provide a safe place for people experiencing homelessness to recover from an acute illness or injury. Many patients in respite programs have experienced a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that impedes their ability to complete the self-management tasks necessary to recover from an acute medical condition. Patients with brain injuries may also have behavioral problems that are difficult to manage in a medical respite setting. OBJECTIVE: This paper describes the experiences of one medical respite program in screening, assessing, and treating patients experiencing homelessness who have traumatic brain injuries. METHODS: Services by clinical…providers were tailored to better address needs of those with a history of TBI, as well as implementation of environmental modifications. Two retrospective case studies were completed to illustrate the importance of addressing TBIs in respite programs. RESULTS: Modifications to programming can improve patient outcomes and assist in transitioning patients to appropriate community resources. CONCLUSIONS: Identifying and treating patients with TBIs in respite programs can result in long-term positive benefits for patients.
Keywords: Homelessness, rehabilitation, self-management, medical respite program, homeless shelter
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Occupational therapists have a long history of addressing community performance and participation challenges faced by individuals with complex, chronic conditions, including those with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and cognitive issues that present with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Healthcare reform has shifted incentives to support practices that promote successful community life for people with complex medical conditions. Community based care models emphasizing integrated primary care, such as Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) are emerging, and a generalist role for occupational therapy is being defined. Those with complex comorbid conditions such as mental illness, substance abuse and traumatic brain injury…are at risk for negative health outcomes that are further compounded by homelessness. There is a critical need to understand effective treatment options for this population to reduce the negative effects of chronic health conditions. As occupational therapists further define a role serving traditional clients in less traditional settings, such as the FQHC, it is helpful to explore the perceptions of the utility of OT services on the part of provider referrers. OBJECTIVE: This study explored provider referrer perceptions of a new occupational therapy service for homeless adults in an FQHC to assist effective allocation of scarce resources. METHODS: Twelve provider referrers at an FQHC were interviewed regarding their perception of the role and utility of occupational therapy in this setting. Interviews were then coded for themes. RESULTS: Providers identified the unique value of occupational therapy, emphasizing critical information gleaned from the performance-based assessment of functional cognition, and the positive impact on team interactions and subsequent care decisions. CONCLUSION: Occupational therapy provides a distinct perspective on client performance in FQHC settings indicating benefit for inclusion of services.
Keywords: Federally qualified health centers, primary care, integrated care, team-based care, complex comorbidity
Abstract: BACKGROUND: People with visual impairment or blindness face a wide range of daily barriers, both at school and at work. OBJECTIVE: This article describes the development process of an online resource, addressing Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), accessible for students with visual impairment or blindness. METHODS: This study was framed in a Design-Based Research methodology involving the analysis, design, development and implementation of a digital resource. In the analysis stage, a first list of accessibility challenges was created allowing the design of strategies and specific technical solutions to approach them. RESULTS: The development process…has shown that online digital resources can be accessible for users with visual impairment or blindness and even the most visual contents and activities (based on images and videos) can be easily adjusted. CONCLUSIONS: Online accessible resources should be based on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) guidelines, allowing the proper description of all contents by screen readers, using audio description, accessible features and providing keyboard navigation. Further research must be conducted to deepen knowledge on the role of educational digital resources for students with visual impairment or blindness, namely regarding OSH barriers that workers with visual impairment or blindness face at the workplace (as visual safety signs and pictogram labels).
Keywords: Accessibility, Occupational Safety and Health, blind, digital media
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many ophthalmic lens manufacturers are currently marketing blue-blocking filters, which they claim will reduce symptoms of Digital Eye Strain (DES). However, there is limited evidence to support the proposal that DES results from the blue light emitted by electronic screens. OBJECTIVE: This investigation compared the effect of blue-blocking filters on DES symptoms with a no-filter lens, using a double-blind methodology. METHODS: Twenty-four subjects were required to perform a 20-minute reading task from a tablet computer. They wore either lenses containing a blue-blocking filter (TheraBlue 1.67 or TheraBlue polycarbonate) or a CR-39 control lens which did…not include a filter. Immediately following each session, subjects completed a questionnaire to quantify symptoms of DES. RESULTS: While a significant increase in symptoms was observed immediately following the near vision task (p = 0.00001), no significant difference in symptoms was found between the 3 lens conditions (p = 0.74). CONCLUSIONS: There is little evidence at this time to support the use of blue-blocking filters as a clinical treatment for DES. Management of other ocular factors, as well as the creation of an optimal environment for screen viewing, are more likely to provide greater success in minimizing symptoms.
Keywords: Blue-blocking filter, blue light, computer vision syndrome, digital eye strain, visual symptoms
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Knowledge management is a central resource in achieving the goals of occupational safety efforts. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study was to investigate the relationships between the implicit (tacit) and explicit (formal) safety knowledge of employees and their effects on employee propensity to follow safe practices at work. METHODS: A survey with seven safety constructs: 1) tacit safety knowledge, 2) explicit safety knowledge, 3) attitudes toward safety: psychological aspects, 4) attitudes toward safety: emotional aspects, 5) safety culture: behavioral aspects, 6) safety culture: psychological aspects, and 7) propensity to follow safety regulations and safe…work practices (safety at work), was designed and used for data collection. A total of 468 production workers from three manufacturing companies located in southeastern Poland provided valid responses to the self-administered survey. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the collected data. RESULTS: The results support the hypothesized relationships among tacit and explicit knowledge of safety requirements, procedures, and practices, and the propensity of employees to follow work practices at work through the mediating variables of safety culture (with behavioral and psychological factors) and attitudes toward safety (with psychological, emotional, and behavioral factors). CONCLUSIONS: While both tacit and explicit safety knowledge affect safe practices, tacit knowledge has an important influence on the use of explicit safety knowledge at work.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Altering the horizontal position of the weight in a backpack will influence the magnitude of the external torque it creates but the effect on posture is unclear. OBJECTIVE: To use photogrammetry to determine if changes in the horizontal position of a fixed backpack weight affect external measures of craniovertebral posture in 150 asymptomatic young adults. METHODS: A backpack was attached to a steel frame with a bar protruding posteriorly. A fixed load (5% body mass) was placed at three distances along the bar –0 m, 0.20 m, and 0.40 m. Sagittal and frontal plane photogrammetry was used to…measure the craniovertebral angle (CVA), upper cervical gaze angle (UCGA) and lateral head tilt angle (LHTA). A comparison was made across unloaded (no backpack) and loaded conditions. RESULTS: There was a significant decrease in the CVA between unloaded and loaded conditions. Changes in the UCGA were small and, while significant, may not have practical importance. There were no differences in the LHTA between the conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Changes in the horizontal position of a fixed load affect external measures of craniovertebral posture so consideration needs to be given to not only the weight of a backpack but how the weight is positioned within the backpack.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Rotational shiftwork (RS) has been linked to increased risk for safety and health of shift workers, globally. A growing literature has revealed a trend toward increased accident and injury rates in shift workers than non-shift workers. AIMS: The present research was aimed: 1) to develop a methodological path for a preliminary objective assessment of occupational risk by RS in a metal industry 2) to detect the consequent effective interventions for moderating the RS risk. METHODS: A modified version of the Rotational Shiftwork Questionnaire was designed by a panel of experts, through a Delphi study; the…questionnaire was used for a pilot study to assess the RS risk in a metal industry. RESULTS: The questionnaire was entitled Rotating Shiftwork Questionnaire-Industry (RSQ-I) and was made up of two sections: 1) Sentinel Events; 2) Risk Factors. The assessment of RS risk showed a medium level of risk in the studied metal industry. Organizational level interventions were detected for moderating the impact of RS-risk on workers’ safety and health. CONCLUSION: RSQ-I showed a valid and reliable tool to analyze RS risk in a 24-hours metal industry. The pilot study demonstrated the effectiveness and feasibility of the introduced RSQ-I to approach the risk, through the analysis of both sentinel events and shift schedules.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to characterize solid particulate aerosol derived from a cutlery microenterprise and to investigate substances associated with activities performed within the work environment. OBJECTIVE: Suspended particulate matter (SPM) was collected at different locations in the cutlery workshop and near machines used by workers, using passive sampling devices fitted with polytetrafluoroethylene filters, onto which total particulate material was deposited. The substances present in the SPM were analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). RESULTS: Identification of the substances was performed using the National Institute of Standards (NIST) library and automated mass spectral…deconvolution and identification system. (AMDIS) software, considering at least 70% probability. The concentration of total dust, obtained using a gravimetric method, was approximately 1 mg.m–3 . CONCLUSION: The toxic substances found in the SPM included halogenated hydrocarbons (containing chlorine, fluorine, and iodine) and aromatic hydrocarbons. The toxic substances included naphthalene, which is classified as carcinogenic.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cycling to work has been promoted all over the world. Contemporary employers invest in human capital (create a friendly work environment, care about the quality of life and health of employees). OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to evaluate the popularity of cycling to work and the motivations and barriers to this activity. METHODS: The study used data obtained from the survey Using cycling in everyday transportation conducted at the request of the Ministry of Sport and Tourism. The data were collected by means of computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI). RESULTS: A…mere 9.9% of Poles commute to work by bike, but they cycle to work on a regular basis (68.6% of respondents do this several times a week for 1 to 6 months). They mostly cycle to improve/maintain health and physical fitness and for reasons concerning environmental protection. According to 49.5% of respondents, the infrastructure at the workplace is insufficient for commuting by bike. A substantial problem is the lack of changing rooms or places to change clothes (44.0%) and no access to showers (22.2%). In the opinions of 66.7%, the promotion of regular commuting to work by bike requires extension of the cycling infrastructure. CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate the necessity of employers’ investment in the infrastructure and cycling facilities.
Keywords: Human capital, health-promoting activities, Poles, bicycle