The assessment of work endurance in disability evaluations across European countries

Henk-Jan Boersema, Bert Cornelius, Wout E. L. de Boer, Jac J. L. van der Klink, Sandra Brouwer

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Purpose Chronic disease is often associated with a reduced energy level, which limits the capacity to work full-time. This study aims to investigate whether the construct work endurance is part of disability assessment in European countries and what assessment procedures are used. We defined work endurance as the ability to sustain working activities for a number of hours per day and per week. Materials and methods We conducted a survey using two self-constructed questionnaires. We addressed 35 experts from 19 countries through the European Union of Medicine in Assurance and Social Security (EUMASS). We gathered descriptive data on various aspects of (the assessment of) work endurance. Results Experts from 16 countries responded. In most countries work endurance is assessed. We found few professional guidelines specific for the assessment of work endurance. Both somatic and mental diseases may cause limited work endurance. Methods to assess work endurance vary, objective methods rating as most suitable. Almost half of the countries report controversies on the assessment of work endurance. Conclusions Work endurance is recognised and assessed as an aspect of work disability assessment in Europe. However, controversies exist and evidence based guidelines, including reliable and valid methods to assess work endurance, are lacking.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0202012
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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