PURPOSE: Assessing work functioning in patients with persistent low back pain (LBP) is important for understanding their ability to engage in work-related activities. This study aims to evaluate the item characteristics, factor structure, and internal consistency of the Work Rehabilitation Questionnaire (WORQ) in patients with persistent LBP.
METHODS: Four hundred and twenty-five individuals with LBP completed the WORQ. Item characteristics, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and consistency were performed to identify the underlying factors.
RESULTS: Missing responses were < 2% for each item. The analysis revealed three factors: psychological wellbeing, physical functioning, and cognitive ability. The factors demonstrated strong internal consistency, with Cronbach's alpha values ranging from 0.88 to 0.93 and McDonald's Omega from 0.92 to 0.96. Fifteen items did not fit into any identified factors, suggesting their potential value in screening functioning levels beyond the factors.
CONCLUSIONS: The WORQ is a valid instrument for evaluating work limitations in individuals with persistent LBP. Further research should assess its responsiveness to changes from interventions that target workability. Advancing this knowledge has the potential to promote work rehabilitation and improve the quality of life for patients with persistent LBP.