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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: This paper presents a theoretical model on how flows of energy and space of action generate health and ill health in a local community work. Local community work was assessed through a case study of women's networks in a peripheral region of northern Sweden. The aim of the study was to analyse what participation in women's networks can mean for the members health perceptions. A purposeful selection of women's networks was made for the purpose of carrying out a…qualitative follow-up study. Grounded theory was used to analyse the data and to generate a theoretical model. The meaning of participation in networks proved to be plural, as both health-deteriorating and health-promotive mechanisms were found. Two core categories "flows of energy" and "a space of action" as well as the four ancillary categories: social relations within the network; increased awareness of gender and power; becoming visible; and material prerequisites for networking were grounded in the data. We suggest that under certain circumstances local community work can be of crucial importance for health promotion.
Keywords: agency, flows of energy, gender, health perceptions, health promotion, local community work, network, participation, power, space of action, women
Abstract: This article explores the development of a scheme to use Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the training of individuals with severe functional impairments. Computers were used as an integral part of a rehabilitation programme for training, and the authors found that the resource was a useful addition to other treatment methods. This article describes the development and subsequent setting up of computers for training and how the study progressed. The study used a somewhat unique…bottom up approach that first trained care-giving staff in computer skills. The caregivers in turn worked with and trained some of those they served. This learning strategy drew upon the concept of learning, empowerment and the motivation of all involved in a system and process. The study found that by using ICT all involved felt a greater sense of empowerment and improvement in the quality of life. That caregivers were involved at all stages was valuable in that they felt an ownership of the process and that they also benefited from being involved because they also learned new skills.
Keywords: learning, empowerment, personal computer, accessibility, personal independence
Abstract: Rehabilitation of functionally impaired in Sweden and the United States is compared and contrasted. Found is that there are fundamental differences in strategies. The Swedish system most often uses a medically oriented multidisciplinary team approach. The US system most often uses a single individual, the vocational rehabilitation counselor, to work with functionally impaired in helping them return to work. Emphasized is that a vocational rehabilitation counselor uses a unique array of skills that is not…duplicated in Sweden by a single profession. Suggested is that a single person with a range of skills can more economically provide vocational rehabilitation services to those with functional impairments; whether this is practical for Sweden is yet to be determined. In contrasting the two systems it was evident that the US system has been in operation for a much longer time and that the Swedish system is maturing. Noted is that the governments of both countries are feeling pressure regarding funding of vocational rehabilitation. This is affecting the level and quality of services. The authors advocate wider contact between Swedish and US university-level training programs in rehabilitation. Felt is that each system has strengths and knowledge that can be used to benefit the other.
Keywords: vocational rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation counselor, VR, RC, rehabilitation, functional impairment, return to work
Abstract: During the last years, harassment experiences have more often than earlier been included in the framework of work stress, thereby being seen more as a result of how the work organisation function rather than being a result of poor characteristics among individuals. The aim of the present study was to examine the relation between sexual harassment, gender discrimination, bullying, conflicts and informal decision structures. The study took place at a large university in the northern part…of Sweden, and data was collected by a questionnaire. Lack of equality and conflicts were significantly related to sexual harassment among women, but none of the studied factors to sexual harassment among men. Common among both women and men were that gender discrimination, bullying, conflicts, being negatively affected by informal decision structures, that women are given preferential treatment and lack of information were related to poor health. To summarise, the results in the present study support earlier studies in their conclusions that work organisation is closely related to the occurrence of harassment. This is especially important to point out when planning for interventions against for example sexual harassment, which very often focuses on the harassed individual, rather than the organisation.
Keywords: gender, power, informal decision structures, work organisation
Abstract: This article has a two-fold purpose. First, it provides an explanation for the increase in occupational stress and sick leaves in Sweden in terms of the structural and organizational conditions. Second, it discusses measures that address these issues. Results of a study of 72 establishments are presented. The study investigated these establishments at both the organizational and individual employee level. It examined management strategies and working conditions in the establishments, classifying these elements by…type of operations and company position. Both classifications point to differences in how work is organized and in working conditions. The results indicate that management technologies distribute risks between segments of the labor market, thus, also between different groups of the labor force. The developments were most favorable in high tech and knowledge-based operations. The situation was least favorable in labor-intensive services and, the most negative development had taken place in human services. Establishments serving as contractors appeared to organize their work differently from those with core activities. Working conditions in contracting businesses were particularly problematic. Since organizational changes work differently from one company to the next, there is a need to develop a variety of strategies for enacting change in the work environment. This article proposes strategies for different segments of the labor market. These strategies are adapted to the particular problems facing each segment.
Keywords: management technologies, organizational changes, prevention, sick leave rates, working conditions, work environment measures
Abstract: Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate differences in the effects on employment between clients whose rehabilitation was coordinated in systematic multiprofessional rehabilitation group meetings and clients whose rehabilitation was coordinated in the "conventional" way. Method: The study was based on a sample of 51 individuals who received systematic group meeting coordination. All individuals in the study group were unemployed before the rehabilitation intervention. Two different comparison groups were chosen: one at…a local level and another at a national level. The groups were matched on an individual level based on records obtained from The National Labour Market Board (AMS) and The National Social Insurance Board (RFV). The data were analysed by an analysis of variance (ANOVA) for repeated measures for binary responses. Results: 68.6% in the study group and 49% in both the local comparison group and national group had some form of employment 24 months after rehabilitation. The ANOVA analyses (in terms of odds ratio) found that when all measurement points (6, 12 and 24 months after the rehabilitation) were included in the calculations that there was twice as high a chance of becoming employed after having received rehabilitation services through the multiprofessional group than for both comparison groups. The majority of employment in all the groups was associated with some form of subsidy or sheltered employment.
Keywords: Swedish vocational rehabilitation programmes, unemployed, cooperation between organisations, work disability
Abstract: Working life continues to undergo rapid change. This change creates greater demand and sophistication and causes employees to experience more pressure, professionally and personally. Thus, absences from work due to sickness and injuries increase. In Sweden, this problem has become serious. This article argues that psychological empowerment and individual control are two key factors that minimize the many perils faced by the modern worker and those seeking to return to the work force through the vocational…rehabilitation process. The findings show that a shift in ideology is needed. Specifically, there must be a shift from scientific management and Weberian bureaucracy towards organizational structures, routines, and cultures that support and increase individual worker psychological empowerment and control.
Abstract: Purpose: The aim of the current study was to investigate whether Case Management and the strengths model could be a successful method in vocational rehabilitation of unemployed people on long term sick leave in Sweden. An additional aim was to further highlight the actual rehabilitation process. Material and method: Ten clients, five men and five women aged between 35 and 40, were included in the project. All ten were at the project start both…long-term unemployed (2–13 years) and on long term sick leave (2–6 years). The project was evaluated from four perspectives: Quality of life (SF 36), sickness absence, and contact with working life were investigated before and after the project. The rehabilitation process was investigated during and after the project. Results and conclusion: The result from the study was positive. Of the 10 clients who participated in the project, six have improved their quality of life, seven have a diminished sickness absence and seven have a closer contact to working life after the project than before. With regards to the rehabilitation process, the results here also impart a positive picture. It should be noted, however, that the study is small and not based on a random sample. The results should not be generalized, but recognized instead as a positive indication.
Abstract: This article focuses on relationships between organizational factors such as leadership, learning, psychosocial work environment and quality aspects as they relate to organizational and health performance outcomes in 42 small enterprises in Norway and Sweden. A rather explorative analysis model was created using indicators that were based on theoretical concepts from a literature review and questionnaire data, concerning 988 employees and leaders. These indicators were then used for correlation analysis. The enterprise is…the unit of analysis. Some strong links between organizational factors and organizational and health performance were found. There was also a strong relation between health performance and sickness absence. Using structural analyses, a structure containing six general components, and strong interrelationships between some indicators of organizational performance and health performance were found. It was also possible to position the enterprises according to two general dimensions. As a general guideline for action, the results tend to support the perspective that positive organizational development is related to health performance and a lowering of absence due to sickness. The findings support the strategies of practitioners who use a concept-driven or holistic approach that integrates several facets of workplace development.