Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 498–510 | Cite as

Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire (WORQ): Development and Preliminary Psychometric Evidence of an ICF-Based Questionnaire for Vocational Rehabilitation

  • Monika E. Finger
  • Reuben Escorpizo
  • Cristina Bostan
  • Rob De Bie


Purpose The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) has proven to be a valuable framework for vocational rehabilitation (VR). No reliable and valid ICF-based instruments to capture work functioning is known, hence, the aims of this study were: (1) to outline the process for developing an ICF-based questionnaire, the Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire (WORQ) to assess functioning in VR and (2) to report preliminary psychometric evidence. Methods ICF categories were selected from the ICF Core Sets for VR using explorative Rasch-analysis and VR literature review. Questions were worded to assess identified ICF categories. WORQ was translated from English to German. Psychometrics for the German version of WORQ was examined in one VR centre in Switzerland. Results 44 ICF categories were selected which resulted in 36 questions related to functioning. The psychometric evaluation of WORQ showed high test–retest reliability (Spearman correlation 0.79) (n = 53) and good internal consistency (Cronbachs Alpha 0.88) (n = 74) WORQ showed moderate correlation with Beck Depression Inventory II (Spearman correlation 0.511) and low correlation (Spearman correlation −0.353) with SF-36. Conclusions WORQ appears to be a reliable, ICF-based questionnaire to evaluate functioning in VR, easy to administer by health or vocational professionals. The additional information gained when using WORQ would contribute to improving interdisciplinary understanding of the patient’s situation and therefore support the integrative planning of the return-to-work process or engagement in gainful employment. However, further studies are needed to further examine its use in clinical practice and research, when validated in other patient populations and settings.


Vocational rehabilitation Return-to-work WORQ ICF Classification Psychometrics 



The authors would like to thank Melissa Selb and Annette Frischmann for their help with the cross-cultural adaptation and Wolfgang Segerer for providing technical consultation, data preparation, and assistance during the conduct of the study. Special thanks to Franco Lanfranchi, Frank Staudenmann, Dora Büschlen, Marianne Moor, Richard Leuenberger, Stefan Staubli and Jonas Peterhans, who made the data collection in the study center Rehaklinik Bellikon, Switzerland possible. We would also like to thank Prof. Alarcos Cieza for her guidance and inspiration. This project was funded by the Swiss Accident Insurance Company (Suva) and the Swiss Paraplegic Research. WORQ can be freely accessed through

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Monika E. Finger
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Reuben Escorpizo
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Cristina Bostan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rob De Bie
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Swiss Paraplegic Research (SPF)NottwilSwitzerland
  2. 2.ICF Research BranchWHO FIC CC Germany (DIMDI) at SPFNottwilSwitzerland
  3. 3.Caphri Research SchoolMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Department of Physical TherapyLouisiana State University Health Sciences CenterNew OrleansUSA
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology, Institute for EducationMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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