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Acta Oncol. 2015 Feb;54(2):232-42. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2014.933873. Epub 2014 Jul 2.

Psychometric properties of the Occupational Stress and Coping Inventory (AVEM) in a cancer population.

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Hamburg-Eppendorf University Medical Centre, Centre of Psychosocial Medicine, Department of Medical Psychology , Hamburg , Germany.



Although the Occupational Stress and Coping Inventory (AVEM) questionnaire is used to assess work behaviour during occupation-related oncological rehabilitation, little is known about its psychometric characteristics in cancer patients. Therefore, we analysed the psychometric properties of the AVEM in this group.


The AVEM was administered to 477 cancer patients at the beginning of rehabilitation. The AVEM consists of 11 subscales that categorise patients into one of four types of work behaviour. We obtained data from several subgroups and analysed reliability using Cronbach's α. We performed a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the dimensional structure proposed by the authors of the AVEM. In addition, we analysed the AVEM's predictive validity by examining work-related outcomes one year after the end of rehabilitation (N = 336).


Similar to a population-based reference sample, half of the patients exhibited work behaviours that might be problematic in stressful working situations. The AVEM proved to be a reliable instrument, and the CFA supported the factor structure of the AVEM. The analyses of predictive validity suggest that work behaviour and mental health characteristics, that involve the tendency to feel overwhelmed and less motivated at work, might lead to an increased level of occupational stress one year post-rehabilitation.


The AVEM can be used during rehabilitation to assess the extent to which patients report work behaviours associated with occupational stress and dissatisfaction. Patients who exhibit the tendency to feel overwhelmed and helpless in stressful work situations should be identified early so they can be offered support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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