Development and Evaluation of Validity and Utility of the Instrument Assessment of Work Performance (AWP)

University dissertation from Institutionen för samhälls- och välfärdsstudier

Abstract: The last decades have shown a great need for vocational rehabilitation due to high levels of absenteeism due to sickness and disability pension. An essential part of the vocational rehabilitation process is assessment of persons with reduced work functioning. Adequate and reliable methods for assessment of clients with work disabilities are crucial for both the individuals who are assessed and for society as a whole. Sound and precise work assessments are needed to guide clients to suitable interventions using a minimum of rehabilitation resources. However, work function assessments are complex and there is confusion over work assessment concepts. Therefore, further development and evaluation of adequate concepts and theoretical models within the area of work assessment is needed. Furthermore, vocational rehabilitation lacks adequate and reliable assessment instruments, especially instruments used to observe clients.This dissertation thesis focuses specifically on the following:- Development of a conceptual framework for assessment of work functioning [Study I]- Development and evaluation of validity and utility of the observation instrument Assessment of Work Performance (AWP) [Study II-IV]Study I proposes a conceptual framework for different dimensions of work functioning and highlights important factors for work assessment. The study also creates a framework to define the purpose, delimination, and possible assessment outcomes of the assessment instrument AWP.Study II develops an observation instrument for assessment of work performance, the Assessment of Work Performance (AWP) and conducts an initial evaluation of face validity and utility for the instrument. The initial evaluation in study II was made within a group of 21 assessors in Sweden, and the result indicated face validity and utility for the AWP, a result that supported further development and evaluation of the instrument.Study III investigates the content validity and utility of the AWP. A questionnaire was answered by 67 respondents who used the AWP in various vocational rehabilitation settings in Sweden. The result indicated content validity and utility for the AWP.Study IV investigates the construct validity of the instrument AWP. This study is based on 364 assessments with the AWP (version 1.1). The clients had various work-related problems and went through an insurance medicine investigation at a Social Insurance Office in Sweden between 2004 and 2005. The major findings in this study indicated that the AWP has construct validity, sensitivity, and the ability to discriminate between clients. It is also gender neutral.The future evaluation of AWP will comprise testing of predictive validity, inter-rater reliability and internal consistency reliability as well as an evaluation of how and with what results the instrument can be combined with other work-related assessment instruments.