Development and content validity of the Abilitator: a self-report questionnaire on work ability and functioning aimed at the population in a weak labour market position

Miia Wikström , Heidi Anttila , Minna Savinainen , Anne Kouvonen Piotrowska , Matti Joensuu


Background The unemployed have lower work ability and poorer health than the employed. This situation deteriorates when unemployment continues. The long-term unemployed often have co-morbidities and face many other challenges. This increases the need for a multidimensional assessment of work ability and functioning in different service settings. In this study, we describe the development and analyse the content validity of the Abilitator, a self-report questionnaire on work ability and functioning for those in a weak labour market position. Methods The Abilitator was developed in 2014–2017. Its construct was assessed by members of academic expert panels (n = 30), practical expert panels of professionals (n = 700) and target group clients (n = 28). The structure and the content of the questionnaire was co-developed in 29 workshops and adjusted twice based on the expert panels’ feedback. The Abilitator was also implemented among target group clients (n = 3360) in different services and projects. During its development the Abilitator was linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). The content validation process followed the guidelines recommended by the Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments (COSMIN) panel. Results The construct of the Abilitator combines the multidimensional and biopsychosocial models of work ability and functioning. It also includes aspects of social inclusion and employability. It evaluates social, psychological, cognitive and physical functioning, and the ability to cope with everyday life. The content of these concepts was validated by the academic and practical expert panels. The Abilitator’s 79 ICF codes covered 57% of the Generic, 77% of the Brief Vocational Rehabilitation, and 8% of the Minimal Environmental ICF Core Sets. When compared with the Work Ability Index (WAI) and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0), the direct equivalences of the ICF codes were 36 and 44%, respectively. Conclusion The Abilitator sufficiently comprehensively covers the relevant aspects to enable the assessment of the overall work ability and functioning of the population in a weak labour market position.
Author Miia Wikström
Miia Wikström,,
, Heidi Anttila
Heidi Anttila,,
, Minna Savinainen
Minna Savinainen,,
, Anne Kouvonen Piotrowska (Filia we Wrocławiu)
Anne Kouvonen Piotrowska,,
- Filia we Wrocławiu
, Matti Joensuu
Matti Joensuu,,
Journal seriesBMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, (N/A 100 pkt)
Issue year2020
Publication size in sheets0.65
Article number327
Keywords in EnglishWork ability, Functioning, Health, Well-being, Self-report, Unemployment, Employability, Inclusion, ICF, Content validity
ASJC Classification2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
Languageen angielski
Development_oswiadczenie.pdf 664.67 KB
Development_tekst.pdf 2.79 MB
Score (nominal)100
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 1.342; WoS Impact Factor: 2018 = 2.567 (2) - 2018=3.275 (5)
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