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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: In order for a repetitive strain injury (RSI) prevention program to be effective, it is important to implement strategies to maintain a client's compliance with the program. This quantitative study explored the effectiveness of computer reminder software in increasing compliance with a stretching program designed to prevent RSI associated with prolonged computer use. Data were collected from a convenience sample of 26 participants who were instructed in a preventative stretching program and assigned to either a…treatment group with the computer reminder software, or a control group without the software. To measure compliance, all participants recorded the number of times per day they stretched. Although a statistically significant difference was not found in the mean number of stretch breaks taken by the two groups (p = 0.09), further analysis suggested a type II error may have occurred. The effect size, d, revealed a large effect suggesting that the computer software had an impact on the frequency of stretch breaks, with the mean number of breaks per hour of work greater for the treatment group. Results strongly suggest that further research is warranted in this area.
Abstract: A prominent school health issue in the United States is the use of backpacks, however, there is a paucity of literature on the effectiveness of backpack safety programs. The purpose of this paper is to describe a school-based backpack health promotion program: Backpack Intelligence, report on its effectiveness, and suggest avenues for future research. Three-hundred-seventy-two 6th and 7th grade students participated in the program which was integrated into their physical education curriculum. Of those…students, 242 completed post-education surveys to assess its effectiveness. Pre-education, 44% reported that their backpack was uncomfortable to carry, and 61% reported two or more warning signs that their backpack was too heavy. Only 57% wore their backpack properly and less than half organized the contents in their backpack correctly. Post-education, 63% reported the program worthwhile. Forty-two percent changed the way they used their backpack, and 93% felt knowledgeable about backpack safety, a 24% increase. Both grade and gender differences were found. Areas identified in the literature as fruitful for future research were suggested. Until we have definitive research on the link between backpack use and injury, interventions may be imperfect, but as a society we are compelled to safeguard the health of our children.
Keywords: school-aged children, ergonomics, school health, occupational health risk, back pain
Abstract: The present study, examined through survey research methodology, the factors or combination of factors which appear to contribute to the experience of occupational stress of individuals working in the fast-food industry. The Occupational Stress Indicator was used. Preliminary findings showed that there exists, several compound factors, which appear to be the most frequently encountered factors by the sample tested, such as the way they feel about their job; the way they behave generally; the way they…interpret events around them; the sources of pressure in their job; and the way they cope with stress they experience. It appears that there are statistically significant differences between males and females as regards to the way they respond to stress, the sources of pressure in their job and the way they cope with stress they experience. Also, statistically significant differences exist between individuals in managerial and non-managerial positions, as regards to their personality type, the degree of ambition, and work dedication they possess.
Abstract: This review contributes to the limited literature on systems of occupational rehabilitation in Australia. Occupational rehabilitation is defined and features of occupational rehabilitation systems within the workers' compensation framework are described. Common features include: (a) the trend to workplace management, (b) preferred rehabilitation program settings and (c) widespread acceptance of some identified principles of occupational rehabilitation. Other features such as roles of stakeholders and participants, relationship of rehabilitation providers and employers, and…the services provided have a number of variations in the Australian systems. Similarities and differences between features of Australian and North American systems are noted. Implications for occupational rehabilitation providers are discussed, and recommendations for practice and future research are made.
Abstract: The relationship between alcohol intake and psychological distress has been overlooked in studies on the working population. Using a multilevel multivariate model, this study reports results obtained from a sample of 8812 workers nested in 387 occupations. Results show that alcohol intake and psychological distress vary significantly at the worker and occupation levels, but they do not show a large variation at the occupation level. Occupational socioeconomic status appears to be a common factor explaining the…correlation between alcohol intake and psychological distress at the occupation level. Semi-professionals, middle management, foreman and semiskilled clerical-sales-services occupations are particularly at risk. Gender is related to both outcomes, while work schedule and number of weekly working hours are associated only with psychological distress. Implications and limitations of these results are discussed.
Abstract: This paper compares the ergonomic risk assessment of a task for the upper extremities as determined by Rapid Upper Extremity Assessment (RULA) and the Strain Index (SI). The ergonomic risk to the upper extremities of 244 automotive assembly plant tasks were evaluated using RULA and SI. The outcomes of each tool were compared for each task. Results from this study provide practical insight into the methods used in each tool. This study compared only the ergonomic…risk outputs from each tool; it does not pursue the question of which tool best predicts injury. The kappa score was 0.11, indicating little agreement between the outputs of the two tools. This is supported by the lack of monotonicity with a gamma score of 0.1. These results indicate that the risk assessment outcome of these two ergonomic assessment tools for the upper extremities do not agree.
Abstract: The incidence of low back pain has continued to increase in modern society, despite the considerable amount of scientific research that has aimed to isolate its exact aetiology. Although low back pain is still largely idiopathic, research has identified over one hundred risk factors for the condition. Of these risk factors, manual material handling tasks are perhaps the most widely explored within the biomechanical literature, as these tasks have been associated with high mechanical stresses on…the lower back. Numerous technique-related variables have been addressed by researchers, whilst the influence of intra-abdominal pressure has also been considered. In addition to this, the implications of variations in the size and structural composition of the load have also been assessed. However, low back pain continues to pose a significant threat to the financial stability and happiness of millions of people worldwide. In addition, a number of functional work capacity assessment tests use lifting as a method for assessment of return to work condition. Many of these tests are not standardised and do not consider the implications of low back loading. Therefore new research attempts in this area are justified and should aim to identify the extent of the association that exists between the known risk factors and the incidence of low back pain.
Keywords: low back pain, lifting, manual material handling, epidemic, cause
Abstract: The risk for the development of musculoskeletal disorders and associated conditions in clerical and office workers is well documented. The majority of work injury prevention programs for this population were single-faceted (education, workstation redesign, or task modification) and yielded both positive and negative findings. This pilot study was conducted with 16 full-time clerical and office workers at a small private college. In a randomized control trial, the intervention group received four hours of…individualized training through a multi-faceted injury prevention program. Between group differences in musculoskeletal symptom frequency and intensity and perceived stress and energy levels existed, although were statistically insignificant. There was a statistically significant decrease in Lower Back ache/pain from pre to post measures for the intervention group.