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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MARTINEZ, Maria Carmen; LATORRE, Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira  and  FISCHER, Frida Marina. Validity and reliability of the Brazilian version of the Work Ability Index questionnaire. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2009, vol.43, n.3, pp.525-532.  Epub Apr 03, 2009. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the validity and reliability of the Portuguese language version of a work ability index. METHODS: Cross sectional survey of a sample of 475 workers from an electrical company in the state of Sao Paulo, Southeastern Brazil (spread across ten municipalities in the Campinas area), carried out in 2005. The following aspects of the Brazilian version of the Work Ability Index were evaluated: construct validity, using factorial exploratory analysis, and discriminant capacity, by comparing mean Work Ability Index scores in two groups with different absenteeism levels; criterion validity, by determining the correlation between self-reported health and Work Ability Index score; and reliability, using Cronbach's alpha to determine the internal consistency of the questionnaire. RESULTS: Factorial analysis indicated three factors in the work ability construct: issues pertaining to "mental resources" (20.6% of the variance), self-perceived work ability (18.9% of the variance), and presence of diseases and health-related limitations (18.4% of the variance). The index was capable of discriminating workers according to levels of absenteeism, identifying a significantly lower (p<0.0001) mean score among subjects with high absenteeism (37.2 points) when compared to those with low absenteeism (42.3 points). Criterion validity analysis showed a correlation between the index and all dimensions of health status analyzed (p<0.0001). Reliability of the index was high, with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.72. CONCLUSIONS:The Brazilian version of the Work Ability Index showed satisfactory psychometric properties with respect to construct validity, thus constituting an appropriate option for evaluating work ability in both individual and population-based settings.

Keywords : Work Capacity Evaluation; Working Conditions; Questionnaires; Translations; Validity of Tests; Reproducibility of Results; Occupational Health.

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