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Systematic Review of Health-Related Work Outcome Measures and Quality Criteria-Based Evaluations of Their Psychometric Properties

      Abstract

      Objective

      To examine the state of psychometric validation in the health-related work outcome literature.

      Data Sources

      We searched PubMed, PubMed Central, CINAHL, Embase (plus Embase Classic), and PsycINFO from inception to January 2016 using the following search terms: stroke, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, spinal cord injury, brain injury, musculoskeletal disease, work, absenteeism, presenteeism, occupation, employment, job, outcome measure, assessment, work capacity evaluation, scale, and questionnaire.

      Study Selection

      From the 22,676 retrieved abstracts, 597 outcome measures were identified. Inclusion was based on content analysis. There were 95 health-related work outcome measures retained; of these, 2 were treated as outliers and therefore are discussed separately. All 6 authors individually organized the 93 remaining scales based on their content.

      Data Extraction

      A follow-up search using the same sources, and time period, with the name of the outcome measures and the terms psychometric, reliability, validity, and responsiveness, identified 263 unique classical test theory psychometric property datasets for the 93 tools. An assessment criterion for psychometric properties was applied to each article, and where consensus was not achieved, the rating delivered by most of the assessors was reported.

      Data Synthesis

      Of the articles reported, 18 reporting psychometric data were not accessible and therefore could not be assessed. There were 39 that scored <20% of the maximum achievable score, 106 scored between 20% and 40%, 82 scored between 40% and 60%, 15 scored between 60% and 80%, and only 1 scored >80%. The 3 outcome measures associated with the highest scoring datasets were the Sheehan Disability Scale, the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire, and the assessment of the Subjective Handicap of Epilepsy. Finally, only 2 psychometric validation datasets reported the complete set of baseline psychometric properties.

      Conclusions

      This systematic review highlights the current limitations of the health-related work outcome measure literature, including the limited number of robust tools available.

      Keywords

      List of abbreviations:

      COSMIN (COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments), CTT (classical test theory)
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