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Work ; 71(2): 293-294, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714962
Work ; 71(2): 423-431, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674292


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic caused a rapid adaptation of online education, requiring university students to complete their schoolwork remotely. There is a gap in the evidence-based literature regarding these novel home workstations and the potential to help students understand ergonomics and adjust their workstations. OBJECTIVES: We aimed to determine if a remote ergonomics intervention would encourage students to make improvements to their workstation and increase their knowledge of ergonomics. METHODS: Participants completed an ergonomics quiz, workstation evaluation, activity time log, and photographs of their workstation. There were three randomly assigned groups, the control group of 26 participants and the first and second intervention groups with 25 participants each. The first and second intervention groups received information sheets regarding proper workstations. The second intervention group was also required to participate in an ergonomics workshop. Six weeks after receiving the interventions, the control group and two intervention groups completed the materials once again. Eight participants from the control group, 12 from the information intervention group, and 14 from the participatory intervention group completed the study. RESULTS: One-way ANOVA tests between the three groups suggest there was no significant difference in ergonomic knowledge or changes made to workstations. However, the remote participatory ergonomics group increased their level of knowledge about ergonomics. CONCLUSIONS: An ergonomics intervention did not impact one group to change their workstation more than others in six weeks. Future studies on this topic should be conducted over a longer amount of time and with more participants to allow for more opportunities for behavior and workstation changes.

COVID-19 , Pandemics , Ergonomics , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Students , Workplace
Work ; 71(1): 1-2, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662558
Work ; 71(2): 417-421, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1662555


BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected societal norms and shifted much of the workforce in the United States to a virtual landscape. Working and learning from home (or "remotely") has become common in nearly every field, including higher level education. Each institution has implemented policies regarding remote work, and with the different policies educators are confronted with different conditions which affect their perceived level of stress and quality of working life. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study is to examine how the transition to working from home contributes to work-related stress and perceived quality of life among postsecondary educators during the first year of COVID-19 related institutional working policies. METHOD: The study used a cross-sectional survey design. The survey was distributed online using email and social media to 1,575 postsecondary teachers in all four regions of the United States between February and March 2021. The survey collected demographic and institutional policy information related to remote work, in addition to the Work-Related Quality of Life Survey which gathers data on indicators of general well-being, job satisfaction, perceived control at work, perceived stress at work, working conditions, and work-life balance. RESULTS: Data was analyzed from 222 (14% response rate) respondents; 49% worked remotely full-time, 47% worked on a hybrid schedule (part-time remote, part-time on campus), and 4% were on campus full-time. The findings suggest that postsecondary teachers who worked in a hybrid program throughout 2020 felt they had more control at work and a higher overall quality of working life, while those who worked remote only or on-campus only felt more stress at work. The results also suggest that less time spent working from home contributes to higher stress and the perception of decreased control at work. CONCLUSIONS: Based on the survey results, remote working policies in higher education institutions have an impact on work-related quality of life and stress felt by their faculty. These findings can be used to guide the implementation of work-from-home or return-to-campus policies.

COVID-19 , Quality of Life , Cross-Sectional Studies , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
Work ; 71(2): 385-394, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1650971


BACKGROUND: Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, occupational therapy (OT) services delivered through telehealth demonstrated comparative effectiveness to in-person services. At the onset of the pandemic, occupational therapy practitioners (OTPs) needed to continue delivering care to clients without being in-person. Many OT practitioners pivoted rapidly to telehealth, in many instances, with very little training. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to describe the use of telehealth in occupational therapy during the early stages of the pandemic, and to explore how participants traversed the barriers. The perceived benefits and barriers to success with rapid telehealth adoption as experienced by OTPs, along with the specific strategies used to promote favorable outcomes may inform ongoing successful telehealth use in occupational therapy. METHOD: This study used a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design. Data was collected from September to December 2020 with an electronic survey. RESULTS: A total of 193 OTPs completed the survey, representing the delivery of OT services in 13 countries. Three main barriers to the use of telehealth were availability of materials, mastery of technology, and collaboration with caregivers/e-helpers. These barriers were negatively and significantly correlated with the participants' confidence level in the use of telehealth. Participants overcame barriers by independently obtaining telehealth training, including training within one's organization, support from social media, self-directed learning, and paid online telehealth webinars. CONCLUSION: Employers and educators can remove barriers to telehealth use by OTPs by providing a variety of learning opportunities and supports to enhance practitioners' confidence, thus increasing the likelihood of continued use of telehealth as a powerful and gap-bridging delivery model in occupational therapy.

COVID-19 , Occupational Therapy , Telemedicine , Humans , Occupational Therapy/methods , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Telemedicine/methods
Work ; 70(1): 1, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1468321

Thinking , Writing , Humans
Work ; 67(1): 29-35, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007030


BACKGROUND: Prior to the COVID-19 global health emergency, telehealth was an emerging occupational therapy (OT) service delivery model possessing many positive attributes. These include the potential to offset well-documented global occupational therapy practitioner (OTP) shortages. However, wide-spread adoption of telehealth as a delivery model in school-based practice is lacking in the OT evidence literature. While the COVID-19 global health emergency propelled many OTPs into the use of telehealth technologies, in some cases with minimal preparation, an investigation was conducted into the likelihood of telehealth adoption when comprehensive training was provided so that appropriateness of student fit for telehealth could be determined and essential planning could take place. OBJECTIVE: Prior to the COVID-19 global health emergency, a comprehensive training program was developed incorporating detailed perceptions of OTPs experienced in and new to telehealth in school-based practice as measured via surveys with the goal of increasing adoption of telehealth technologies for the delivery of OT services. Following the completion of the online New to Telehealth Pre-training Survey, OTPs new to telehealth were invited to complete the OT Telehealth Primer: School-based Practice training program. Analysis of pre- and post-training surveys yielded information about attitudinal changes experienced post-training. METHODS: Prior to the COVID-19 global health emergency, school-based occupational therapy practitioners (OTP) experienced in telehealth were invited to complete a survey exploring benefits and barriers encountered in the delivery of OT services using telehealth. OTPs new-to-telehealth were invited to complete a different survey intended to explore attitudes about the potential use of telehealth. Data collected from both surveys were used to develop a comprehensive training program, The OT Telehealth Primer for School-based Practice. OTPs new-to-telehealth were invited to complete the training program and a post-training survey. A descriptive data analysis was completed on responses from pre- to post-training surveys and the chi-square test of independence was used to evaluate difference in reported likelihood of adopting telehealth into practice before and after training. RESULTS: Prior to the COVID-19 global health emergency, the top benefits identified by the OTP Experienced Telehealth-User Survey included: 1) service access, 2) collaboration and carry-over with team members, 3) efficiency themes, and4) student engagement and comfort. Top benefits identified by the OTP New to Telehealth Survey identified the same top benefits after participating in the training program. A significant decrease in perceived barriers was noted in scores from pre- to post-training by OTPs new to telehealth. The perceived barriers that did not significantly decrease post-training suggest the need for future education and future protocol development. These included: unreliable internet, lack of hands-on opportunity and e-helpers' (parent, caregiver or support system available to assist the student in person during a telehealth session) decreased comfort with technology. Of the participants who completed the OT Telehealth Primer: School-based Practice, 80% reported being likely to add telehealth as a delivery model for future OT practice. CONCLUSIONS: Prior to the COVID-19 global health emergency, completion of the comprehensive training program OT Telehealth Primer: School-based Practice program yielded improved perceived benefits and an increased likelihood of telehealth adoption into practice by OTPs. However, both OTPs and school administrators require ongoing education for successful widespread adoption to be achieved thus offsetting the global shortage of OTPs and increasing service access. Future research, particularly related to available training and support for the rapid adoption of telehealth technologies during the COVID-19 global health emergency, will yield helpful information about the likelihood of continued use of telehealth in practice.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Health Workforce , Occupational Therapy/organization & administration , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , School Health Services/organization & administration , Telemedicine/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Efficiency, Organizational , Global Health , Health Services Accessibility , Humans , Interdisciplinary Communication , Occupational Therapy/statistics & numerical data , Patient Care Team , SARS-CoV-2
Work ; 67(1): 37-46, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1007026


BACKGROUND: The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) that emerged in late 2019, and later become a global pandemic, has unleashed an almost unprecedented global public health and economic crisis. OBJECTIVE: In this perspective, we examine the effects of COVID-19 and identify a likely 'new normal' in terms of challenges and opportunities within the fields of disability, telework, and rehabilitation. METHODS: We use a systems thinking lens informed by recent empirical evidence and peer-reviewed qualitative accounts regarding the pandemic to identify emerging challenges, and pinpoint opportunities related to health and changing employment infrastructure of people with disabilities and rehabilitation professionals. RESULTS: From our interpretation, the key leverage points or opportunities include: (1) developing disability-inclusive public health responses and emergency preparedness; (2) enabling employment and telework opportunities for people with disabilities; (3) addressing the new requirements in rehabilitation service provision, including participating as essential team members in the care of people with infectious diseases such as COVID-19; (4) embracing the added emphasis on, and capacity for, telehealth; and (5) developing greater resilience, distance learning, and employability among the rehabilitation workforce. CONCLUSIONS: The COVID-19 pandemic has become increasingly challenging to the lives of people with disabilities and rehabilitation professionals; however, key challenges can be minimized and opportunities can be capitalized upon in order to 'build back better' after COVID-19.

Coronavirus Infections/economics , Disabled Persons/rehabilitation , Economic Recession , Employment/organization & administration , Pandemics/economics , Pneumonia, Viral/economics , Workplace/organization & administration , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Education, Distance , Humans , Organizational Innovation , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Rehabilitation Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Systems Analysis , Telecommunications/organization & administration , Telemedicine , Workforce/trends