Seminar Presentation 2-2

2-2 (Presentation within Topical Seminar 2):
Predictors of successful work functioning in the general working population

Presented by: Femke Abma


Abma FI1, van der Klink JJL1, Amick III B2,3, Bültmann U1

  1. University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen. Groningen, The Netherlands
  2. Institute for Work & Health. Toronto, Canada
  3. Department of Health Policy and Management. Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work. Florida International University. Miami, USA



Work functioning is the interplay between work and health. To help workers to stay at work in a healthy, productive and sustainable way and to develop interventions to improve work functioning, it is important to have insight in predictors of successful work functioning. The aim of this study is to identify predictors of successful work functioning in the general working population.


A longitudinal study was conducted in the general working population. Data was collected at baseline and at 3 month follow-up. Work functioning was assessed with the Work Role Functioning Questionnaire 2.0 (WRFQ). The WRFQ total score was categorized as: 0-90; >90 ≤95; and >95-100 (the latter was defined as ‘successful work functioning’). A stepwise multiple ordinal logistic regression analysis was performed to examine relationships between potential predictors and the dependent variable (successful work functioning). Potential predictors included were baseline work functioning, mental health, fatigue, decision latitude, work engagement, and work ability.


In model 1 (WRFQ baseline, mental health and fatigue), only WRFQ baseline (OR=1.16, 95% Confidence Interval (CI)=1.07-1.24) was a significant predictor for successful work functioning. The addition of decision latitude in the second model did not change this. In the final model, work ability (OR=2.07, 95%CI=1.22-3.49) was added and predicted together with WRFQ baseline successful work functioning.


Baseline work functioning and work ability are predictive for future successful work functioning. However, research has shown that it is difficult to change work ability. The concept of work functioning, reflecting the interplay between work demands and health, might provide better information for the design of interventions to improve work functioning.