A practical tool to improve outcomes in Work Injury Management Academic Article uri icon


  • Psychosocial factors have the greatest influence on work rehabilitation outcomes yet effective and efficient systems to manage these factors are not widely utilized in Work Injury Management.To report on the development and validation of a comprehensive assessment tool with practical utility in identifying and measuring the biopsychosocial factors which are barriers to return to work and community.Literature search identified many instruments designed to identify the presence of psychosocial factors impacting recovery and return to work following musculoskeletal injury. This research aimed to match assessment with intervention. In clinical practice over a 5 year period, this led to development of a composite questionnaire, the Abilita Rehabilitation Index, which was trialed with 43 adults participating in Occupational Rehabilitation. The validation data are based on the results of 957 case records of Occupational Rehabilitation participants.Examination of Cronbach coefficient alpha of the instrument indicates strong internal consistency (0.90) and factor analysis supports satisfactory construct validity of the domains (subscales) with factor loading scores ranging from 0.73 to 0.90.There is evidence that the proprietary Abilita Rehabilitation Index is a valid and reliable instrument to identify and measure the influence of psychosocial factors impacting an individual's recovery and return to work. Automated reports generated from this tool provide an evidence-based resource to identify risk and support rehabilitation planning in Work Injury Management.

publication date

  • 2016

published in