Measuring psychosocial job strain with the job content questionnaire using experienced job evaluators

Am J Ind Med. 2001 Apr;39(4):397-401. doi: 10.1002/ajim.1030.


Background: A union/management system of job evaluation has been in place in the British Columbia (BC) sawmill industry since the late 1960s. This system uses an instrument, very similar to the job content questionnaire (JCQ) to evaluate psychosocial work conditions for sawmill jobs.

Methods: Four experienced evaluators, one from the union and three from industry, independently estimated psychosocial work conditions for 54 current job titles in a "typical" coastal sawmill using a shortened, 18-question version of the JCQ questionnaire.

Results: Inter-rater reliability was acceptable for control but not for co-worker social support, physical demand, or psychological demand. Reliability was least for psychological demand.

Conclusions: Experienced job evaluators in the sawmill industry were able to reliably estimate only the control dimension of the JCQ. The observed lowest reliability for psychological job demand may be due to the imprecise construct definition in the domain of the JCQ instrument.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Observer Variation
  • Occupational Health
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stress, Psychological / diagnosis*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Workplace / psychology*