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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: According to a survey of the economically active elderly population in South Korea, most of them are employed in the service sector, with many men working as custodians. OBJECTIVE: This study investigates the characteristics of injuries affecting apartment custodians, one of the representative jobs for older male workers, as well as the characteristics of accident causes based on human errors. METHODS: The study used information processing as a framework to identify the cause of accidents that affected 831 male apartment custodians. This study investigated the characteristics of injured persons and features of accidents.…RESULTS: The majority of accidents were caused by human errors, in particular perceptual (45.5% ) and action (26.9% ) errors. The rate of accidents caused by human errors rose from 85.3% among those aged below 60 to 91.4% among those aged 70 or above. Furthermore, the rate of accidents caused by perceptual errors was higher among those aged 60 or above (45.0% ) than those aged below 60 (31.4% ). CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study imply that accident prevention measures must be customized to older workers according to the different employment conditions.
Keywords: Older workers, human error, occupational injury, custodian, information processing
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-9, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The annual incidence rate of work-related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders (WUEMSDs) is increasing in US workers according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, the prevalence of WUEMSDs among US total workers has not been estimated. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to estimate the prevalence of WUEMSDs among US total workers and among each of major occupations and industries. METHODS: We analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey Arthritis supplements (2006, 2009, and 2014) among 50,218 current workers (age ≥18 years) to estimate the 30-day prevalence of WUEMSDs and of WUEMSDs affecting…work using the SAS-callable SUDAAN software. RESULTS: About 11.2 million workers reported WUEMSDs based on three surveys (2006, 2009, and 2014). The 30-day prevalence of WUEMSDs was 8.23% the prevalence of WUEMSDs affecting work was 1.24%. The Construction occupation and industry had the highest age- and sex-adjusted 30-day prevalence of WUEMSDs (10.98% for Construction occupation; 9.94% for Construction industry) and WUEMSDs affecting work (3.32% for Construction occupation; 2.31% Construction industry). CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that construction workers had the highest prevalence of both WUEMSDs and WUEMSDs affecting work. They may be a priority group for interventions to reduce upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders.
Keywords: Work-related upper extremity musculoskeletal disorder, prevalence, occupation, industry
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-12, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: It is well known that electrical accidents can cause physical injury. Less well known is that long-term consequences may include emotional and cognitive problems. OBJECTIVE: To explore electricians’ experiences and perceptions of work-related electrical accidents, with focus on psychological short- and long-term consequences, including how contacts with health care services and the workplace were perceived. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews with 23 Swedish male electricians, aged 25– 68, who had experienced at least one electrical accident and reported residual sensory, musculoskeletal, cognitive or emotional symptoms. Data was analyzed by means of qualitative content analysis. RESULTS:…Immediate emotional reactions included surprise, confusion, fear, anxiety, and anger; also long-term consequences were seen. Experiencing a no-let-go situation was particularly stressful. The cause of the accident, and questions about guilt and blame were central in the aftermath. Lack of knowledge and routine among health care professionals concerning electrical injury was reported, as well as lack of medical and psychological follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: For some informants, the accident had been a life-changing event, while for others it was an event of little importance. Adequate handling at the workplace, and from health care personnel, including follow-up, could facilitate rehabilitation and return to work.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The flexible working and business model of coworking spaces inherits the provision of workspace and further the construction of a network for entrepreneurs, creative and knowledge workers. Until now, research on coworking spaces is scarce in the field of health sciences. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated reasons and motives for working in coworking spaces and working conditions under health related aspects. Demands and resources while working in coworking spaces were analyzed according to a theoretical model for (Job-demands-resources model – JDR) perceived working conditions. METHODS: Twenty semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with coworkers (n = 14)…and coworking operators (n = 6) in Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich. Participants were asked to describe the reasons and motivations for working in coworking spaces and their perceived working conditions. Transcripts were analyzed according to content analysis. RESULTS: The most mentioned reason for using coworking spaces were the community aspect (n = 15) followed by the alternative to home office (n = 12). Negative job demands seem to result from unfavorable ergonomic conditions, working disruptions, miscommunications and missing privacy. Time flexibility, social surrounding and increased productivity were interpreted as job resources. CONCLUSIONS: These results can be seen as a basis for further quantitative research in order to generalize these findings, by testing hypotheses and develop workplace-related concepts for health management.
Abstract: BACKGROUND : Work participation has a profound influence on the individual’s overall health and well-being. Cancer survivors are at risk of unemployment, and the people with the highest risk are diagnosed with cancer in the central nervous system. Many diagnosed with this cancer survive and try to return to a normal life including work participation. Experiences related to returning to work after brain tumor treatment seem to be an unexplored phenomenon. OBJECTIVE : The current study focuses on the gap in the scientific literature concerning the individual experience after undergoing treatment for brain cancer and the return to work…(RTW) process. METHODS : Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with four informants, and a thematic content analysis of the transcribed data was used. RESULTS : The results show RTW among our informants as a process consists of three main themes: easier said than done, from mastering to the feeling of inadequacy, and the environment’s impact. The categories various components may be relevant. CONCLUSION : In a health promotion perspective, several resources such as aspects of motivation, self-awareness, and opportunities for facilitation and empowerment need to be available in the process of RTW for individuals who have undergone treatment for brain cancer.
Keywords: Brain tumor, acquired brain injury, health promotion
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-10, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND : Drywall installation has an injury rate four times that of the construction industry average. Workers are exposed to hazards related to slips, falls, and falling objects, in addition to the large and awkward loads they must carry. Drywall sheets can weigh more than 100 lb. and contribute to disabling musculoskeletal injuries of the shoulders and back. OBJECTIVE : In this study, an unpowered lift assist device was developed to manage the load of a drywall sheet during the installation process. METHODS : In order to measure the effect of the lift assist device, a laboratory study with…10 healthy male participants performing two lifts, lifting from ground to erect and lifting from erect to ceiling, with and without the help of the device, was performed. These lifts were chosen to simulate a drywall installer’s frequent lifting motions. Participants were fitted with electromyography (EMG) on the erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, rectus abdominus, and external oblique muscles to measure activation. Mean, peak, and effort data for the lifting exercises were extracted and compared to the unassisted lift. RESULTS : The lift assist device resulted in a reduction in mean EMG signal of 69% average over both lifts and muscle groups. Peak EMG and effort (i.e., area under the curve) were reduced by 78% and 75%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS : These data demonstrate the effectiveness of the device in reducing compressive back loads during drywall installation, which warrants future development.
Keywords: Drywall lifting, back injury, occupational injuries, construction, back pain
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-11, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: No research has been undertaken about employability assessment (EA) of total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance claims. EA provides vocational information to life insurers to help decide claims. To determine how helpful EA is, a new measure was needed to survey insurers. OBJECTIVE: To generate survey items by harnessing the knowledge and agreement of rehabilitation advisors with expertise in EA. METHODS: A panel of 10 (89% of eligible Australian rehabilitation advisors) participated in an adapted three-round Delphi process. Rounds 2 and 3 were incorporated into a novel real-time card sort format. RESULTS:…From 94 potential items submitted for first round qualitative analysis, 36 items in four domains— quality, content, utility, and claims— were generated. Two quantitative ranking rounds in one face-to-face session produced a 21-item prototype. The final electronic survey instrument contained 11 sections seeking insurer demographics and feedback on: external providers; EA concepts, components, quality, and usefulness; functional, occupational, labor market items; and finally, EA cost and type. Our Delphi process was anonymous, completed in four weeks with 100% response rate and 75% agreement. More time between Rounds 2 and 3 would enhance statistical analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Our adapted Delphi methodology for survey item generation is generalizable for any panel able to meet in person.
Keywords: Life insurance, forensic, medicolegal, vocational expert, vocational
rehabilitation, lump sum benefit
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-10, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND: One of the reasons for the high unemployment amongst people with disability is a lack of knowledge on factors determining their employment. Factors associated with willingness and attitudes towards work have not been studied sufficiently amongst the general population of people with impaired functioning. Recognizing and improving attitudes to work and vocational rehabilitation may increase the employment rate of persons with disabilities. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of some demographic factors on a willingness to work and an interest in vocational rehabilitation amongst unemployed persons with confirmed disability. METHODS: Cross-sectional survey-based study amongst unemployed…persons with disabilities in a large urban area. The sample consisted of 1 547 respondents with mostly mild or moderate disabilities. The multinomial logistic regression was used to obtain relative risk ratios (RRs) for different demographic characteristics of the sample. RESULTS: An interest in vocational rehabilitation was significantly associated with older age (RR 1.36, 95% CI 1.2 to 1.5), lower disability grade (RR 1.30, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.60), and lower expectation of a desired salary (RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.67 to 0.88). Older age (RR 1.31, 95% CI 1.14 to 1.51) and more severe disability (reversed figure – RR 0.75, 95% CI 0.60 to 0.93) were associated with a delayed willingness to work. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst unemployed persons with severe or moderate disabilities, a better willingness to work was mostly associated with younger age and milder disability severity. Older persons with less disabilities and realistic expectations of salary rate reported an interest in vocational rehabilitation more often.
Keywords: Disability, vocational rehabilitation, return to work, willingness to work, occupational status
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-5, 2018
Abstract: BACKGROUND : Stress and recovery have recently been linked to health issues and back pain (BP) occurrence. However, the evaluation of these aspects in prevention programs has not been approached so far. OBJECTIVES : The primary aim of this study was to exploratively scrutinize the effectiveness of recovery interventions to reduce BP within a multimodal, out-patient prevention program. The secondary aim consisted in the evaluation of these recovery interventions in terms of reducing stress and increasing recovery. METHODS : A prospective cohort study with 58 employees was conducted. Thirty-one individuals participated in a multimodal out-patient prevention program for…12-weeks, with recovery interventions being conveyed as add-ons. The control group did not receive treatment. At baseline (T0 ) and after the prevention program (T1 ), both groups completed psychometric instruments assessing BP, stress, and recovery. RESULTS : A MANOVA indicated that Pain Intensity (p = 0.039), Disability (p = 0.011), and Overall Stress (p = 0.001) were significantly reduced in the intervention group compared to the control group. Overall Recovery (p = 0.008) significantly improved in the intervention group while deteriorating in the control group. CONCLUSIONS : The outcomes emphasize the relevance of recovery tools for BP prevention and for reducing stress and enhancing recovery in an out-patient prevention program.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: There are many potential training exercises for office workers in an attempt to prevent musculoskeletal disorders. However, to date a suitable tool to monitor the perceived exertion of those exercises does not exist. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study was to examine the validity and reliability of the Borg CR-10 scale to monitor the perceived exertion of office exercise training. METHODS: The study involved 105 staff members employed in a government office with an age range from 25 to 50 years. The Borg CR-10 scale was self-administered two times, with an interval of…two weeks in order to evaluate the accuracy of the original findings with a retest. Face validity and content validity were also examined. RESULTS: Reliability was found to be high for the Borg CR-10 scale (0.898). Additionally a high correlation between the Borg CR-10 scale and Visual Analog Scale (VAS) was identified (rs = 0.754, P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: This study found the Borg CR-10 scale to be a reliable and valid tool for monitoring the perceived exertion of office exercise training and may potentially be useful for occupational therapists to measure physical activity intensity levels.
Keywords: Perceived exertion, office worker, monitoring, validity and reliability
vol. Pre-press, no. Pre-press, pp. 1-6, 2018