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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: The COVID-19 outbreak pandemic is a situation without a tested action plan. Rehabilitation team members have been called for duty with new responsibilities in addition to their conventional roles in the healthcare system. The infectious disease specialists are updating the knowledge base in limited time in clinical settings. The number of articles in PubMed grows at an increasing rate. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to identify core COVID-19 articles by citation and co-citation network analysis in the PMC subset of PubMed. METHODS: Citation and co-citation network analysis methods were used to identify core…articles and knowledge base. RESULTS: COVID-19 terms query retrieved 15,387 articles in PubMed. These articles formed a citation network with 6,778 articles and 25,163 PMC-PubMed citations. The main article cluster in the co-citation network consists of 2,811 articles and 78,844 co-citations. CONCLUSIONS: The number of COVID-19 articles in PubMed is increasing at a very high rate. Citation and co-citation network analysis are advantageous techniques to identify knowledge base in a scientific discipline. These techniques may help rehabilitation specialists to identify core articles efficiently.
Keywords: COVID-19, citation network analysis, co-citation network analysis, knowledge base
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Mercury is one of the most well-known toxic metals for humans. Chloralkali workers are exposed to mercury vapours extensively, which may be associated with neurotoxicity. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the associations between mercury concentration in blood and air samples, and mercury’s neuropsychological effects among chloralkali workers. METHODS: This study was conducted on 50 chloralkali workers as the exposed group and 50 non-industrial office workers as the unexposed group. All subjects were assessed using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Piper Chronic Fatigue Scale and Essential Tremor Rating Scale. Mercury concentration was…measured in blood and air samples using cold vapour atomic absorption spectrometry. RESULTS: There was significantly more severe fatigue, depression and tremor in the exposed group compared with the unexposed group. The mean concentration of blood mercury in the exposed group was 22.59±12.5μ gL–1 which was significantly higher than the unexposed group (1.28±1.05μ g L–1 ). Based on multiple linear regression, shift work, smoking, fatigue, depression and tremor were predictor variables for blood mercury concentration. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicated that this sample of chloralkali workers suffered from neuropsychological problems such as fatigue, depression and tremor, which is probably related to mercury exposure.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Home care providers assisting with seniors’ personal care often experience high rates of musculoskeletal disorders, particularly affecting the lower back. Assisting with bathing is consistently identified as one of their most physically demanding activities. OBJECTIVE: To identify and describe care providers’ procedures for assisting a frail senior to bathe that are likely to contribute most to the development of back injuries. METHODS: Eight community-based personal support workers (home care aides) assisted a frail senior (actor) to bathe in a simulated home bathroom. Video recordings of the activity were coded according to providers’ postures and to…characterize techniques for providing care. RESULTS: Exposure to severe trunk flexion and high posture-induced back loads was greatest during transfers in and out of the bathtub. In particular, lifting the legs over the rim of the tub, assisting the client to shift across the bath transfer bench, and providing care to the legs and feet involved the care provider spending substantial time in highly flexed postures. No observed techniques for these activities showed substantially lower exposures. CONCLUSIONS: Further tools and/or techniques must be identified or developed to improve caregiver safety during these strenuous activities.
Keywords: Home care aide, nursing assistant, unregulated care providers, occupational ergonomics, musculoskeletal risk
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Biomechanical simulation is an important tool in human-centred design, allowing for the assessment of comfort interactions between user, product and space, to optimize design features from an ergonomics perspective. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to develop a biomechanical model for the evaluation of postural comfort levels. METHODS: The study used the scenario-based method to focus on the electronic-worker (e-worker) sedentary tablet tasks at public workplace (third-workplace) configurations. An empirical method determined work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs) risk levels. The experimental method was based on a motion-capture marker-based laboratory protocol and biomechanical model. Body postures…were analysed to determine the WMSDs risk to the joints, and were compared to subjective questionnaires. RESULTS: Posture was affected by the tablet target location and workplace setting. The findings confirmed our hypothesis, that neutral-position cost functions govern human motion. Almost half of the time, the e-workers’ joints tended to remain in the neutral position range; of the three third-workplaces, high-risk variability was less significant between the ‘restaurant’ and ‘lounge’ settings, compared to the ‘anywhere’ configuration. CONCLUSIONS: This evaluation model can contribute to optimizing comfort level in design for third-workplace settings and other sedentary work activities; it can be used to develop guidelines for minimizing work-related strain and health hazards.
Keywords: Physical ergonomics, range of motion (ROM), work-related musculoskeletal disorders (WMSDs), e-worker
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Lateral elbow tendinopathy (LET), commonly known as tennis elbow, is a prevalent work-related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder. Medical practitioners and hand therapists manage LET with commonly available clinic-based treatments, despite no sound evidence to suggest long-term relief and functional restoration for workers with LET. Workplace-based rehabilitation is effective for injured workers with other health conditions, but no studies have investigated this rehabilitation approach in the management of LET. OBJECTIVES: (i) Identify, compare, and contrast Australian hand therapists’ and medical practitioners’ perceptions about the effectiveness of common treatments for LET, and (ii) obtain their views towards a hand…therapist delivered workplace-based education approach. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 38 medical practitioners from Western Australia and 104 hand therapists around Australia completed online surveys. Independent t -tests were used to identify between-group differences in responses. RESULTS: Despite some between-group differences regarding the perceived effectiveness of common LET treatments, both groups believed education about LET pathology, activity modification, postures, and workplace recommendations were most effective. Most medical practitioners (81%) and hand therapists (71%) believed workplace-based education delivered by a hand therapist would be beneficial for patients with acute and chronic LET. CONCLUSION: Australian hand therapists and medical practitioners believed educational approaches were the most important component in the management of LET, and supported workplace-based educational interventions provided by hand therapists in the management of LET.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Tripping and falling are common at work. Investigating the perceived risk of tripping is important for the safety of workers. OBJECTIVE: To test the hypotheses that the perceived risk of tripping is affected by obstacle depth, obstacle height, number of obstacle, and light location under dimmed lighting conditions. METHODS: A walkway with one to three obstacles in the middle was prepared. Each obstacle had a height of 0, 5, or 10 cm and a depth of 1 or 10 cm. The laboratory was dimmed with only one light either at the beginning, the midway, or at the…end of the walkway. The perceived risk of tripping (PRT) was measured both before and after the participant walked through the walkway. A rating of gait disturbance (RGD) to each participant upon crossing the obstacle was also recorded. RESULTS: The PRT measured both before and after the walk were between “almost no” to “medium” risk levels. The RGD was affected significantly by the location of the light, obstacle height, obstacle depth, and number of obstacle. CONCLUSION: The location of light significantly affected the PRT both before and after the participants walked. The participants perceived a higher risk of tripping and had a relative high probability of foot-obstacle contact when the light was behind than when the light was in the front.
Keywords: Gait, trip and fall, obstacle crossing, perceived risk of tripping
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Recently, hospital services have undergone massive changes. As global competition intensifies and informed patients require improved medical services, nurses’ depression has increased. OBJECTIVE: We investigated the effect of emotional labor and job stress on depression in nurses with long working hours via structural equation modeling. METHODS: The data were collected in three general hospitals with 300 beds or more from August 31 to September 12, 2016, and 400 nurse practitioners agreed to participate. We retrieved 350 self-reported questionnaires in total, of which 291 were analyzed (excluding 33 containing unidentifiable values and 26 outliers).…RESULTS: The emotional labor of nurses with long working hours influenced depression, whereas job stress did not. Resilience had a negative mediating effect on the relationship between emotional labor and depressive symptoms. Social support had negative mediating effects on the relationship between job stress and depression. CONCLUSIONS: To promote the mental health of nurses in Korea, policies must decrease nurses’ working hours and maintain work environments that enable them to demonstrate their full competency. Thus, it is necessary to limit long hours and implement structures and systems that promote compliance with these limitations.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Due to their physically and mentally demanding job, nurses are exposed to high risk of fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders, through which their work ability could be adversely affected. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify factors influencing nurses’ work ability by using a macroergonomic model. METHODS: Descriptive and qualitative analyses were carried out in two phases of the study. First, 41 nurses of the cardiac intensive care unit in a military hospital in Iran filled in the work ability questionnaire (WAI). In the second phase, in order to identify factors influencing work ability of the nurses,…a semi-structural interview within the framework of the System Engineering Initiative for Patient Safety (SEIPS) model was conducted. Consequently, data were analysed and compared by multiple experts using directed content analysis method. RESULTS: The mean work ability of the nurses was 40.01±4.05 (good work ability). 22 themes were identified through the directed content analysis and they were classified in 5 categories of the SEIPS model including environment, tools and technology, task, person, and organization. CONCLUSIONS: Using a macroergonomic approach proved to be valuable in identifying factors influencing work ability of nurses. These factors should be considered by managers and HFE practitioners designing intervention programs to improve nurses’ work ability.
Keywords: Work ability, macroergonomics, nurses, SEIPS model