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Application of the ICF based Norwegian Function Assessment Scale to employees in Germany

Background: At the interface of the occupational setting and rehabilitation, normative values for functional ability are desirable and worthwhile. The Norwegian Function Assessment Scale (NFAS) is a 39 item self-report instrument based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). As the questionnaire was not used in a working population, we aimed to obtain functional levels of employees in Germany as measured through the NFAS.

Methods: The NFAS was included in the Study on Mental Health at Work (S-MGA) 2011/12, a representative German survey of employees aged 31 to 60 years. For descriptive analyses, 95% confidence intervals were applied through bootstrap estimation to the skewed data of the NFAS (range from 1 = "no difficulty" to 5 = "could not do it"). The data were analysed by age decades, professional qualification, and by disabilities, congenital diseases and accidents, stratified by sex. Linear regression analyses were conducted to estimate adjusted effects of age, professional qualification, and health limitations.

Results: The NFAS total score was 1.17 (95% CI = 1.15–1.17). Thirty-five percent of the employees' (1378 out of 3937 participants) reported the best possible functional ability (NFAS total score of 1.00). Managing and walking/standing were the NFAS' most affected domains with a score of 1.26 (95% CI = 1.23–1.27), respectively. The regression analysis confirmed more functional difficulties for elder employees, females, employees with low professional qualification, and for employees suffering from disability and accidents.

Conclusions: The study presents normative values of functional ability for the workforce. The results are useful for score interpretation in rehabilitation and return-to-work processes.

The complete article is published in "Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology", 13:3 (2018).

Bibliographic information

S. Jankowiak, U. Rose, N. Kersten:
Application of the ICF based Norwegian Function Assessment Scale to employees in Germany. 
in: Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, 13:3 2018. pages 1-11, Project number: F 2387, PDF file, DOI: 10.1186/s12995-017-0183-4

download file "Application of the ICF based Norwegian Function Assessment Scale to employees in Germany" (PDF, 441 KB, Not barrier-free file)

Research Project

Project numberF 2387 StatusCompleted Project Physical strain and functioning: Suitability of the Norwegian Function Assessment Scale (NFAS) exemplified by "The Study of Mental Health at Work (S-MGA)"

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