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Q - Employment and Vocation

hours, changing jobs or leaving the labour force), productivity losses (e.g., absenteeism and job disruptions) and work-life balance. Future SCI and employment research can look toward measures used in studies on other musculoskeletal conditions, like arthritis, to fill this gap. Research on arthritis and employment has identified several valid and reliable work productivity measures that describe the impact of a chronic disabling condition, on one’s ability to participate in employment. 14 For example, difficulties with work acts and tasks can be assessed using the Work Activities Limitations Scale (WALS). WALS is a 12-item measure, gauging problems with lower mobility (e.g., getting around the workplace or sitting for long periods), upper mobility (e.g., reaching or grasping), and the pace and schedule of work. Items are responded to on a four-point scale (0 = no difficulty, 3 = unable to do), and are totaled to produce a score ranging from 0 to 36. By expanding on the measurement of employment and adapting measures designed for other musculoskeletal conditions, researchers can gain a greater understanding of the experience of working with SCI, and help to identify challenges to participating in work.15 Figure 1.0 HAVING A WAY TO GET TO AND FROM WORK IS A KEY DETERMINANT OF EMPLOYMENT. EMPLOYMENT AND VOCATION | BODY STRUCTURE AND FNUCTION 179


Q - Employment and Vocation
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