Development of a new tool to evaluate work support needs and guide vocational rehabilitation

The Work-ability Support Scale (WSS)
Purpose: This article outlines our overall approach, qualitative work, and pilot testing to develop a tool to facilitate identification of level of support needs and assist in planning for vocational rehabilitation interventions. Methods: A set of foundation principles drawn from literature and previous critiques of work-ability assessment tools were used to guide a set of studies to develop a new tool. A review of the literature regarding factors that influence work-ability, qualitative interviews and focus groups with a range of stakeholders in the return-to-work process, and pilot testing in different settings were used to develop the Work-ability Support Scale (WSS) to a stage where it had face validity, usability and acceptability for a range of key stakeholders and was ready for further testing. Results: Qualitative work and pilot testing enhanced the proposed tool with a series of changes and refinements to the content, structure and scoring framework. The current version of the tool is presented. Inter-rater reliability is presented elsewhere. Conclusion: Core principles and stakeholders' views (injured or sick workers, employers, case managers and health professionals) support current tool design. Although further testing is required, the WSS appears to hold potential for use in the assessment of vocational rehabilitation needs

Source: Fadyl JK; McPherson KM; Schlüter PJ; Turner-Stokes L, Disability And Rehabilitation, 2014, Apr 30.

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