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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: Community Health Workers (CHW) are a category of social workers described in many countries’ health systems as responsible for engaging people in their residences and communities, and other non-clinical spaces to enable access to health services, especially in low-income areas. These professionals have been exposed to numerous new risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: This study describes how the COVID-19 pandemic is perceived by CHWs who work in poor communities or slums in Brazil. METHODS: We conducted an online survey with a random sample of 775 CHWs operating in 368 municipalities of the 26 Brazilian…states. At a confidence level of 95%, results of the survey were subject to a maximum sampling error of 4%. RESULTS: Our data indicate that the negationist agenda increases the challenges to the performance of CHWs within low-income communities, preventing the consensus on the necessity of social distancing, business closures and other measures to face the COVID-19 pandemic. CONCLUSION: The pandemic imposes unexpected challenges on the usual modes of interaction of public health officers with poor communities. This study provides evidence that these challenges have been ignored or minimized in Brazilian policy prescriptions for primary care in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Primary health care, social distancing, sociocultural territory
Abstract: BACKGROUND: An analysis of data from an international survey was undertaken to determine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on telehealth practice in occupational therapy worldwide, in addition to facilitators and barriers in utilising this form of service delivery. METHOD: The global online survey was circulated in the occupational therapy community by the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) between April and July 2020, collecting responses to closed-ended questions, in addition to free-text comments. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analyses were used to assess relationships between respondent characteristics and the utilisation of telehealth. Thematic statement analysis provided further insight…regarding factors impacting telehealth use. RESULTS: Findings revealed a significant increase in the use of telehealth strategies with the onset of the pandemic among survey respondents, with many reported benefits. Bivariate analyses indicated telehealth users were more likely to score higher feelings of safety and positive work morale, as well as perceive employer expectations to be reasonable. Restricted access to technology, limitations of remote practice, funding issues and slow pace of change were identified as barriers for some respondents to utilising telehealth. Facilitators included availability of supportive policy, guidelines and strategies, in addition to education and training. CONCLUSION: This study advances the understanding of the current scope of occupational therapy telehealth practice in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Although results suggest long-term potential for telehealth use as an adjunct to traditional service provision, important considerations were identified regarding factors influencing integration of such strategies.
Keywords: COVID-19, health service delivery, technology, remote care, teletherapy
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Prior to the COVID-19 global health emergency, reducing direct contacts between therapists and patients is an important issue, and could be achieved by using robots to perform certain caring activities. OBJECTIVE: This study compares therapeutic factors of singing group activities directed by social robots and by occupational therapists at elderly care centers during this COVID-19 outbreak. METHODS: This project has a quasi-experimental research design, based on a pilot study of 14 subjects aged above 65 years. They received eight sessions of singing group therapy given by a social robot or an occupational therapist. Completed copies…of a therapeutic-factor questionnaire were then collected. RESULTS: At the 4th week, the scores for 8 therapeutic factors were higher in sessions with the occupational therapist than the robot-directed sessions, reaching a statistically significant level; at the 8th week, the scores for 3 therapeutic factors, including imparting of information, were higher in sessions with the occupational therapist than in sessions with the robot. The top scoring therapeutic factor in the robot sessions was group cohesiveness. CONCLUSIONS: Social robots may be good companion tools for elderly care during this COVID-19 outbreak, but group therapy sessions supervised by real-person therapists still have higher therapeutic factor scores than those conducted by robots. The number of subjects needs to be increased to enhance the validity of future study results.
Keywords: Occupational therapist, social distancing, group therapy, therapeutic factors, pandemic, COVID-19
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that have symptoms ranging from simple symptoms of colds to severe respiratory syndromes. In December 2019, cases of unknown pneumonia first appeared in Wuhan, China. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between occupation and COVID-19 in the Ardabil Imam Khomeini hospital. METHODS: This research was conducted as a cross-sectional and descriptive study. The questionnaires used in this study included demographic information to obtain the required information such as age, sex, clinical symptoms, underlying disease, type of drug used, smoking, occupation, hours of work,…number of daily clients, use of mask or shield, type of working hours, weight and height and body mass index, number family, place of residence, role in the family, presence of an infected person in the family, communication with the suspect, observance or non-observance of health protocols. Our sample size consisted of 774 subjects, all patients at the Ardabil Imam Khomeini Hospital. The subjects were selected randomly. RESULTS: The results of this study showed that the mean age of patients was 56.70 years, with a standard deviation of 18.20 years. Three hundred and sixty participants (46.5%) were female, and 414 (53.5%) were male. In terms of occupation distribution, 317 patients (41%) were housewives. In addition, 57 people (7.4%) were farmers or ranchers. CONCLUSION: In general, it can be concluded that due to severity of infection and threat posed by Coronavirus and the risk of infections between different occupations like the taxi driver and medical staff, it is very important to find out what jobs are in the big threat.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal and psychosocial problems have tended to increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the changes in musculoskeletal problems and psychosocial status of teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic due to online education and to investigate the effects of preventive telerehabilitation applications for musculoskeletal problems. METHODS: Forty teachers who conducted online education during the pandemic volunteered to participate in the study. All assessments were performed via online methods. The Cornell Musculoskeletal Discomfort Questionnaire (CMDQ), ProFitMap-Neck questionnaire, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and Upper Extremity Functional Index (UEFI) were used to evaluate musculoskeletal problems; the Beck Anxiety…Inventory (BAI) and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) were used to evaluate anxiety and depression, respectively; and the Work–Life Balance Scale (WLBS) was used to evaluate how well individuals achieve this balance. Information about before online education, during online education, and after training was obtained with the assessments. After the first assessment, telerehabilitation, which involved presentations and brochures, was applied to 18 participants willing to participate in the training. RESULTS: The ProFitMap, UEFI, and WLBS scores during the online education decreased significantly, while the scores of the CMDQ, ODI, BDI, and BAI during the online education increased significantly compared to the pre-online education scores (p < 0.05). In addition, the total CMDQ, ProFitMap, and ODI scores improved significantly after the training (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: Musculoskeletal and psychosocial problems increased in teachers during online education. Preventive telerehabilitation methods will be beneficial for individuals who do not have access to face-to-face physiotherapy.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The sanitary emergency due to COVID-19 virus obliged people to face up several changes in their everyday life becauseWorld Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines and countries' Health Systems imposed lockdown of activities and social distancing to flatten the infection curve. One of these rapid changes involved students and professors that had to turn the traditional "in presence" classes into online courses facing several problems for educational delivery. OBJECTIVES: This work aimed to investigate the factors that affected both teaching/learning effectiveness and general human comfort and wellbeing after the sudden transition from classrooms to eLearning platforms due to COVID-19…in Italy. METHODS: A workshop, involving students and experts of Human Factors and Ergonomics, has been performed to identify aspects/factors that could influence online learning. Then, from workshop output and literature studies, a survey composed of two questionnaires (one for students and one for teachers) has been developed and spread out among Italian universities students and professors. RESULTS: 700 people answered the questionnaires. Data have been analysed and discussed to define the most important changes due to the new eLearning approach. Absence of interactions with colleagues and the necessity to use several devices were some of the aspects coming out from questionnaires. CONCLUSIONS: The study shows an overview of factors influencing both teaching/learning effectiveness and general human comfort and wellbeing. Results could be considered as a basis for future investigation and optimization about the dependencies and correlations among identified factors and the characteristics of the products/interaction/environment during eLearning courses.
Keywords: COVID-19, human centred design, comfort, discomfort, university lectures
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The school is one of the most critical social, educational, and training institutions and the main pillar of education in society. Education and, consequently, educational environments have the highest effect on the mentality, development, growth, welfare, concentration, performance, and learning efficiency of students. OBJECTIVES: The present study aimed to examine the effects of environmental ergonomics on the learning and cognition of pre-school students during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: The study was carried out as a review article using some keywords, namely “children”, “learning”, “pre-school”, “COVID-19”, “ergonomics”, and “environmental factors”. Scopus, PubMed, Science Direct and Web…of Science were searched to find related articles. RESULTS: Factors like color, form, and layout of classrooms, lighting and ventilation, interior decoration, and educational equipment are effective in creating interest and motivation for students to learn. CONCLUSIONS: A review of these articles showed that the presence of ergonomics in educational spaces for children increases the quality of learning and reduces stress and anxiety, and by observing health protocols, a healthy and safe environment can be provided for students.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, rehabilitation facilities have become less accessible for patients with a stroke. Lack of early, intensive rehabilitation misses the opportunity for recovery during the critical time window of endogenous plasticity and improvement post-stroke. OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this commentary was to highlighting the benefits of telework and telerehabilitation programs for workers with a stroke during the COVID-19 pandemic. METHODS: Relevant publications regarding the management of individuals with a stroke, telerehabilitation and teleworking in the setting of COVID-19 were reviewed. RESULTS: Previous studies showed that telerehabilitation can…effectively provide an alternate method of promoting recovery for patients with a stroke. With the physical distancing precautions in place for mitigating viral spread, teleworking can also provide a method for long term recovery and improvements in quality of life after a stroke. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, this commentary addresses the benefits of physically distant, safe and effective alternatives to support individuals who live with a stroke during COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: Rehabilitation, telehealth, work, return to work
Abstract: It was a Monday evening, about 8 years ago, when I entered my weekly yoga class tired and in a hurry. I let out a sigh of relief and wondered myself “why I don’t do this every day” ... . With this thought a seed was planted. It took some time to grow, but now has blossomed successfully. In this narrative I will describe my process of work transition. I am very grateful it succeeded and I found a way to manage work, family and disability and a new balance and fulfillment in life.
Keywords: Impact of hearing loss, (finding) work and life balance, meaningfulness/fulfillment, overcome challenges