Introduction: This paper reports on the predictive validity of a Psychosocial Risk for Occupational Disability Scale in the workers' compensation environment using a paper and pencil version of a previously validated multimethod instrument on a new, subacute sample of workers with low back pain.
Methods: A cohort longitudinal study design with a randomly selected cohort off work for 4-6 weeks was applied. The questionnaire was completed by 111 eligible workers at 4-6 weeks following injury. Return to work status data at three months was obtained from 100 workers. Sixty-four workers had returned to work (RTW) and 36 had not (NRTW).
Results: Stepwise backward elimination resulted in a model with these predictors: Expectations of Recovery, SF-36 Vitality, SF-36 Mental Health, and Waddell Symptoms. The correct classification of RTW/NRTW was 79%, with sensitivity (NRTW) of 61% and specificity (RTW) of 89%. The area under the ROC curve was 84%.
Conclusions: New evidence for predictive validity for the Psychosocial Risk-for-Disability Instrument was provided.
Implications: The instrument can be useful and practical for prediction of return to work outcomes in the subacute stage after low back injury in the workers' compensation context.