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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: Military culture and workplace are areas of interest for researchers across disciplines. However, few publications on military culture exist. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this article is to introduce general concepts regarding the structure and culture of the United States Military and discuss how this creates challenges for reintegrating into the civilian world. METHOD: Topics that will be covered in this article include an overview of the Department of Defense (DoD) and…Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), socialization to military culture, the unique features of the military as a workplace, the cultural experiences of military personnel reintegrating back into the community, and the challenges faced by military members and their spouses. RESULTS: The provided information on military culture will expand military cultural competency so that civilian employers can enhance their ability to create supportive workplaces for veterans and military spouses during times of transition and reintegration. DISCUSSION: The unique characteristics of the military culture should be understood by those who work with or plan to work with military populations.
Keywords: Department of Defense, military personnel, military spouses, military roles, reintegration
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The prevalence of medical risk factors for suicide (e.g., mental disorders, severe disability, social disruption) may be higher among WTs compared to traditional Army units. Likewise, the extent to which traditional factors that protect soldiers from developing serious mental disorders (e.g., social support, unit cohesion, leadership) are present among soldiers assigned to the WTU is unclear. OBJECTIVES: An epidemiological consultation (EPICON) was conducted in 2010 to assess potential causes for a perceived high…rate of suicides and preventable deaths in U.S. Army Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and to identify potential improvements to the system of care. METHODS OF STUDY: The EPICON focused on: (1) risk factors for suicide/preventable deaths; (2) chronic pain management; (3) utilization of and access to WTU medical and behavioral health (BH) services; and (4) the impact of the WTU environment on mission focus and warrior disposition. BH history was examined for soldiers who died by suicide or preventable death while assigned to the WTU (index cases) and a representative comparison group of non-index case soldiers. Surveys and focus groups were conducted at four WTUs with Warriors in Transition (WTs) and key support staff. RESULTS: The use of psychotropic and/or CNS depressant medications, prevalence of BH diagnoses and substance use disorders, polypharmacy, alcohol use, and a high cumulative number of stressors were identified as important risk factors for preventable deaths in the WTC. Areas of potential improvement to the system of care included addressing negative perceptions of the WTU environment, lack of social support, barriers to accessing BH services and issues related to coordination of care. CONCLUSIONS: There was no one single risk factor found to be associated with an increased likelihood of preventable deaths within the WTU. The unique design and operation of the WTUs as environments focused on treatment and rehabilitation provide both benefits and challenges to recovery and risk mitigation.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: A growing number of women are serving in the military in a variety of roles, yet information on their experience of stressors not associated with either combat or sexual harassment is not commonly reported. OBJECTIVE: To present phenomenological data on stressors experienced in military service, together with the use of coping strategies as a way to focus on women's mental needs following deployment from service. METHODS: Twenty women who had recently completed their compulsory…army service in Israel drew a picture expressing stressors they experienced in the army. They analyzed their own pictures on three levels: the content, context, and the composition as expressing stress and the resources they used in coping with stress. RESULTS: Six themes were raised: proximity to war situations, coping with accidents in training soldiers under their command, a conflict between political values and military orders, witnessing the injury of another female soldier, responsibility for accidental injury of a civilian, and distress over the army placement. CONCLUSIONS: Coping resources were relational, primarily family and friend support, rather than from the army framework. This reliance on relational sources of support was both a resource and a source of vulnerability and is viewed as distinct from men's style of coping.
Keywords: Arts based research, self-in-relation model, Israel Defense Forces, PTSD symptoms
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Barriers to employment in the civilian labor force are increasingly difficult problems for returning veterans with disabilities. Reduced self-perception of disability status because of predominant military norms can be particularly harmful to reintegration efforts. OBJECTIVE: We analyze rates of self-identified and externally determined disability status among U.S. veterans. Evidence of a lower self-report rate would confirm the hypothesis that armed forces culture might hold back truly deserving veterans from seeking the benefits owed,…including specialized employment training programs. METHODS: We use data from the Current Population Survey Veterans Supplement over the sample period 1995—2010 on disability status and associated demographic characteristics to present descriptive measures and limited statistical inference. RESULTS: Over the entire sample period, federal agencies considered 29% of the survey respondents to have a service-connected disability versus a 9% self-identification rate. The rate of more severe service-connected disabilities has risen steadily, while less drastic disability rates have fallen. Non-white respondents and those with lower education levels were less likely to self-identify. CONCLUSIONS: Large disparities in internal and external disability status identification raise questions about targeting soldiers re-entering the labor force. Employment policy should focus on overcoming negative cultural stereotypes and encouraging self-identification.
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Since its establishment in 1948, the state of Israel has been deeply committed to reintegrating veterans with disabilities into mainstream society. Prominently, the Israeli Ministry of Defence's rehabilitation division provides veterans with disabilities with a wide array of benefits and services aimed at restoring their physical and psychosocial functioning, especially in the workplace. The focus on employment is motivated by a prevailing assumption among professionals that successful adjustment to disability is…contingent on an individual's ability to reacquire normative occupational function. To date, however, this widely accepted wisdom has not been empirically scrutinized. OBJECTIVE: To empirically explore whether employment status is associated to psychological, social, and behavioural adjustment attributes. METHODS: One hundred and one employed veterans were compared to 111 non-employed veterans in respect to their self-reported levels of hope, acceptance of disability, social networks size and social participation patterns. RESULTS: Employed veterans reported significantly higher levels psychological adjustment as manifested in elevated hope and acceptance of disability and lighter social network than their non-employed counterparts. However no differences were found between employed and non-employed veterans with respect to their social participation patterns. CONCLUSIONS: The value of these findings, as well as wider implications for rehabilitation professionals and policy makers, is discussed.
Keywords: Hope, acceptance of disability, social integration
Abstract: BACKGROUND: More Reserve and Guard members have been activated in the past few years than in any other time in history. In addition to the high rates of psychological and behavioral challenges among military personnel, there are other equally important post-deployment reintegration challenges. Post-deployment reintegration challenges are particularly important to Reserve and Guard members, who transition rapidly from civilian-military-civilian. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to describe the scope of challenges that a battalion of National…Guard members (NGM) report experiencing after returning from a one-year deployment to Iraq. METHOD: This article reports data from a sample of 126 NGM who recently returned from a one-year deployment to Iraq. The scope of post-deployment problems at baseline, 3- and 6-month post-deployment are presented. RESULTS: Overall, the rates of post-deployment psychological and behavioral problems were elevated upon returning from deployment and remained fairly constant for up to 6 months post-deployment. Approximately 30% of respondents were unsatisfied with their relationship and upwards of 30% reported family reintegration challenges. CONCLUSIONS: Comparisons with similar research and implications for prevention and improvement of post-deployment quality of life are addressed.
Abstract: This study examined civilian employment among Army National Guard soldiers who had recently returned from Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Enduring Freedom (OEF). Of specific interest were relationships of re-employment and financial difficulties to several conditions, such as amount of social support during and after deployment, combat exposure, negative feelings during and after deployment, and postdeployment adjustment symptoms. Survey data from the Army's Reintegration Unit Risk Inventory were used (4,546 soldiers in…50 units who were deployed during 2010). Few soldiers reported financial difficulties during deployment (7.1% of the sample) and after having returned (11.8%). Of those who reported postdeployment financial difficulties, nearly one-half had reported such difficulties during deployment, and not having resumed the predeployment job was associated with more postdeployment financial difficulties. Logistic regression analyses showed the relative contribution of the study variables to changed financial status, from deployment to postdeployment. Reported deployment support (e.g., trust in the unit chain-of-command and available support) was associated with decreased financial difficulties. In contrast, increased financial difficulties were associated with having seen others wounded or killed in combat. Other postdeployment experiences, such as feelings of anger and frustration and available support, were associated with increased financial difficulties, in addition to alcohol use, trouble sleeping and suicidal thoughts. Implications of results for policy and practice to lessen financial hardships and job loss associated with deployment are discussed.
Keywords: Army National Guard, homecoming, deployment, re-employment, financial status changes