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J Occup Environ Med. 2002 Aug;44(8):724-35.

Validity of a self-administered questionnaire for assessing physical work loads in a general population.

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  • 1Department of Public Health Sciences, Division of Occupational Medicine, Karolinska, Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. ola.leijon@smd.sll.se


The aim of the study was to evaluate eight questions concerning physical loads, used in public health questionnaires. Working women and men (203) completed a self-administered questionnaire twice, following a test-retest method. The questions were also validated with a structured interview. Response agreement was calculated with Cohen's kappa statistics with quadratic weights (kappa w). Test-retest agreement varied from 0.74 to 0.92, and inter-method agreement from 0.38 to 0.81. The lowest coefficients were for the questions concerning bent/twisted work postures (kappa w 0.38) and repetitive movements (kappa w 0.39). The results did not indicate any substantial influence of gender, type of work or musculoskeletal complaint. The questions concerning general physical activity and sitting work postures, and physical exercise/sports during leisure times, had good validity. The questions concerning bent/twisted work posture and repetitive movements need to be re-designed.

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