Objectives The aim of this study was to develop a questionnaire to measure work capabilities based on Amartya Sen’s capability approach and evaluate its validity.
Methods The development of the questionnaire was based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods: interviews, literature study, and an expert meeting. Additionally, in a survey, the validity was evaluated by means of hypotheses testing (using correlations and regression analyses).
Results The questionnaire consists of a set of seven capability aspects for work. For each aspect, it is determined whether it is part of a worker’s capability set, ie, when the aspect is considered valuable, is enabled in work, and is realized. The capability set was significantly correlated with work role functioning-flexibility demands (-0,187), work ability (-0.304), work performance (-0.282), worked hours (-0.073), sickness absence (yes/no) (0.098), and sickness absence days (0.105). The capability set and the overall capability item are significantly associated with all work outcomes (P<0.010).
Conclusions The new capability set for work questionnaire appears to be a valid instrument to measure work capabilities. The questionnaire is unique because the items include the valued aspects of work and incorporate whether a worker is able to achieve what (s)he values in his/her work. The questionnaire can be used to evaluate the capability set of workers in organizations to identify aspects that need to be addressed in interventions.

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doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.3532, hdl.handle.net/1765/87171
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Department of Public Health

Abma, F., Brouwer, S., de Vries, H. J., Arends, I., Robroek, S., Cuijpers, M. P. J., … van der Klink, J. J. L. (2016). The capability set for work: Development and validation of a new questionnaire. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 42(1), 34–42. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3532