Content comparison of worker productivity questionnaires in arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health framework

J Occup Rehabil. 2009 Dec;19(4):382-97. doi: 10.1007/s10926-009-9193-0. Epub 2009 Jul 26.


Background: Worker productivity outcome is essential in examining the rehabilitation of workers with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions. There is great variation in the contents of worker productivity questionnaires. The International Classification of Functioning Disability and Health (ICF) offers the possibility to serve as a reference to describe and compare the contents of these questionnaires.

Methods: A literature review identified published self-report worker productivity questionnaires. All meaningful concepts were identified and linked to the corresponding ICF category according to established rules.

Results: Eighteen questionnaires were identified which contained a total of 519 meaningful concepts and which were linked to 64 unique 2nd level ICF categories. All questionnaires addressed Activities and Participation, thirteen (72%) addressed Body Functions, seven (39%) addressed Environmental Factors, seven (39%) addressed Personal Factors and only one questionnaire (6%) for Body Structures component. Overall, Work Role Functioning (WRF) questionnaire addressed the most number of different categories while Quantity and Quality method contained only one ICF category. The Rheumatoid Arthritis-Work Instability Scale had the highest number of categories for Body Functions, the Work Activity Limitations Scale and WRF had the most number of categories for Activities and Participation. The Health and Labour Questionnaire had the highest number of categories referring to unpaid work participation. The Health and Work Questionnaire was the only that included contextualization of both Environmental and Personal Factors.

Conclusion: Self-report worker productivity questionnaires differed largely in their contents. This content analysis study could guide us in selecting an appropriate questionnaire for a specific study question.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Arthritis / rehabilitation*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Efficiency*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / rehabilitation*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • Vocabulary, Controlled
  • Work Capacity Evaluation*