PhD ceremony: Ms. F.I. Abma, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Dissertation: Work functioning development and evaluation of a measurement tool
Promotor(s): prof. J.J.L. van der Klink, prof. U. Bültmann
Faculty: Medical Sciences
In recent years, a change in the attention of occupational healthcare in the Netherlands from return-to-work towards stay-at-work has occurred. The shift towards stay at work requires new interventions and measures to assess effectiveness of interventions and to monitor work functioning. The thesis describes the development of a generic instrument that evaluates health-related work functioning to facilitate actions towards optimal functioning at work, sustainable work participation and work reintegration. No appropriate work functioning instrument was available for use in the Dutch context. Therefore, it was decided to translate and cross-culturally adapt an existing US instrument to Dutch, the Work Role Functioning Questionnaire (WRFQ). New items on flexibility demands were developed to update the instrument to the current nature of work. To evaluate the measurement properties of the new WRFQ 2.0, a longitudinal validation study was conducted. The reliability, validity and responsiveness were examined in the working population. A total of 553 workers completed the survey. The WRFQ 2.0 has four subscales about work scheduling and output demands, physical demands, mental and social demands, and flexibility demands. The WRFQ 2.0 differentiates between workers with high and low self-rated health and between workers with manual and non-manual jobs. The WRFQ 2.0 can be a helpful tool for concerted actions of the worker, occupational health professionals, and HRM/supervisors. Although further research is needed to validate the instrument, using the instrument may be a first step in taking actions towards optimal work functioning and sustainable work participation.
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