Common mental disorders (CMD) negatively affect work functioning. In the health service sector not only the prevalence of CMDs is high, but work functioning problems are associated with a risk of serious consequences for patients and healthcare providers. If work functioning problems due to CMDs are detected early, timely help can be provided. Therefore, the aim of this study is to develop a detection questionnaire for impaired work functioning due to CMDs in nurses and allied health professionals working in hospitals.
First, an item pool was developed by a systematic literature study and five focus group interviews with employees and experts. To evaluate the content validity, additional interviews were held. Second, a cross-sectional assessment of the item pool in 314 nurses and allied health professionals was used for item selection and for identification and corroboration of subscales by explorative and confirmatory factor analysis.
The study results in the Nurses Work Functioning Questionnaire (NWFQ), a 50-item self-report questionnaire consisting of seven subscales: cognitive aspects of task execution, impaired decision making, causing incidents at work, avoidance behavior, conflicts and irritations with colleagues, impaired contact with patients and their family, and lack of energy and motivation. The questionnaire has a proven high content validity. All subscales have good or acceptable internal consistency.
The Nurses Work Functioning Questionnaire gives insight into precise and concrete aspects of impaired work functioning of nurses and allied health professionals. The scores can be used as a starting point for purposeful interventions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00420-011-0649-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.