Work and Health Questionnaire (WHQ): A Screening Tool for Identifying Injured Workers at Risk for a Complicated Rehabilitation

Abegglen, Sandra; Hoffmann-Richter, Ulrike; Schade, Volker; Znoj, Hans Jörg (2017). Work and Health Questionnaire (WHQ): A Screening Tool for Identifying Injured Workers at Risk for a Complicated Rehabilitation. Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 27(2), pp. 268-283. Springer 10.1007/s10926-016-9654-1

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Purpose Unintentional injuries occur frequently and many of the accident survivors suffer from temporary or permanent disabilities. Although most accident victims recover quickly, a significant fraction of them shows a complicated recovery process and accounts for the majority of disability costs. Thus, early identification of vulnerable persons may be beneficial for compensation schemes, government bodies, as well as for the worker themselves. Here we present the Work and Health Questionnaire (WHQ), a screening tool that is already implemented in the case management process of the Swiss Accident Insurance Fund (Suva). Moreover, we demonstrate its prognostic value for identifying workers at risk of a complicated recovery process. Methods A total of 1963 injured workers answered the WHQ within the first 3 months after their accident. All of them had minor to moderate accidental injuries; severely injured workers were excluded from the analyses. The anonymized individual-level data were extracted from insurance databases. We examined construct validity by factorial analyses, and prognostic validity by hierarchical multiple regression analyses on days of work disability. Further, we evaluated well-being and job satisfaction 18 months post-injury in a subsample of 192 injured workers (9.8 %) Results Factor analyses supported five underlying factors (Job Design, Work Support, Job Strain, Somatic Condition/Pain, and Anxiety/Worries). These subscales were moderately correlated, thus indicating that different subscales measured different aspects of work and health-related risk factors of injured workers. Item analysis and reliability analysis showed accurate psychometric properties. Each subscale was predictive at least for one of the evaluated outcomes 18 months post-injury. Conclusion The WHQ shows good psychometric qualities with high clinical utility to identify injured persons with multiple psychosocial risk factors. Thus, the questionnaire appears to be suitable for exploring different rehabilitation needs among minor to moderate injured workers.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Abegglen, Sandra and Znoj, Hans Jörg


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Adriana Biaggi

Date Deposited:

12 Dec 2016 15:52

Last Modified:

13 May 2019 11:14

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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