Scand J Work Environ Health 2012;38(1):5-18    pdf | Published online: 27 Aug 2011, Issue date: Jan 2012

Evaluation of the measurement properties of self-reported health-related work-functioning instruments among workers with common mental disorders

by Abma FI, van der Klink JJL, Terwee CB, Amick III BC, Bültmann U

Objectives During the past decade, common mental disorders (CMD) have emerged as a major public and occupational health problem in many countries. Several instruments have been developed to measure the influence of health on functioning at work. To select appropriate instruments for use in occupational health practice and research, the measurement properties (eg, reliability, validity, responsiveness) must be evaluated. The objective of this study is to appraise critically and compare the measurement properties of self-reported health-related work-functioning instruments among workers with CMD.

Methods A systematic review was performed searching three electronic databases. Papers were included that: (i) mainly focused on the development and/or evaluation of the measurement properties of a self-reported health-related work-functioning instrument; (ii) were conducted in a CMD population; and (iii) were fulltext original papers. Quality appraisal was performed using the consensus-based standards for the selection of health status measurement instruments (COSMIN) checklist.

Results Five papers evaluating measurement properties of five self-reported health-related work-functioning instruments in CMD populations were included. There is little evidence available for the measurement properties of the identified instruments in this population, mainly due to low methodological quality of the included studies.

Conclusions The available evidence on measurement properties is based on studies of poor-to-fair methodological quality. Information on a number of measurement properties, such as measurement error, content validity, and cross-cultural validity is still lacking. Therefore, no evidence-based decisions and recommendations can be made for the use of health-related work functioning instruments. Studies of high methodological quality are needed to properly assess the existing instruments’ measurement properties.

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