2011-03-01 12:00 - Messages
Purpose. To develop an instrument that measures empowerment among people with a long-term work disability. Methods. A six-dimension empowerment model was chosen as a theoretical framework. These dimensions are as follows: competence, self-determination, meaning, impact, positive identity and group orientation. A literature search was conducted to find instruments that currently are being used to measure one or more of these constructs. Validated and applicable instruments from this search were used in a preliminary questionnaire. A pilot test was conducted consulting the target population and experts. On basis of changes from this pilot, a concept questionnaire was conducted. In a field test, this questionnaire was sent to 976 subjects who followed a vocational rehabilitation course in the years 2001–2003. Item-total correlations and factor analyses were performed on the collected data to reduce the number of items. Factor analysis was performed, and internal consistency was determined to get insight into the psychometric properties of the final questionnaire. Results. From all subjects who were approached, 385 (39%) returned usable questionnaires that could be analysed. Item reduction by item-total correlations and factor analysis resulted in a final questionnaire consisting of 62 items divided over the six subscales. Internal consistency of the subscales was good: all subscales had Cronbach's alphas between 0.80 and 0.91. Some inter-correlation existed between the subscales competence, self-determination and impact. Conclusions. The ‘VrijBaan’ questionnaire was developed to measure empowerment among people with a long-term work disability. Although the results support the internal consistency of the subscales, further psychometric work is needed to improve the quality of this questionnaire.
Physically loading work factors may play a considerable role in the development of hip osteoarthritis. Recurrent work-related manual handling of workloads over 20 kg was associated with hip osteoarthritis in both genders between the ages of 30 and 97. The risk was visible after 12 years' exposure. These results are based on a study of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Kuopio University Hospital, University of Eastern Finland and National Institute for Health and Welfare. There were a nationally representative sample of 3110 Finnish men and 3446 women in the study.
Kaila-Kangas L et al. Associations of hip osteoarthritis with history of recurrent exposure to manual handling of loads over 20 kg and work participation: a population-based study of men and women. Occup Environ Med 2011; Jan 18
Four hundred million adults are obese. Such a pandemic involves people of working age. Excess weight imposes abnormal mechanics on body movements, which could account for the high incidence of musculoskeletal disorders in these subjects. This article reviews the physiological and biomechanical causes of the reduced work capacity in obese workers and speculates on the relationships between occupational exposure and obesity. The reduction in work capacity appears to be due to the following factors: reduced spine flexibility, decay in endurance, limited range of movement of the major joints, reduced muscle strength and capacity to hold prolonged fixed postures, impaired respiratory capacity and visual control. Work capacity in morbidly obese workers should always be evaluated to match specific job demands. Due to the relationship between obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, disability and health costs, prevention of obesity and ergonomic interventions on-site are a priority in the work place.