Thyroid-specific questions on work ability showed known-groups validity among Danes with thyroid diseases

Tidsskriftartikel - 2015


[Open access]PURPOSE: We aimed to identify the best approach to work ability assessment in patients with thyroid disease by evaluating the factor structure, measurement equivalence, known-groups validity, and predictive validity of a broad set of work ability items. METHODS: Based on the literature and interviews with thyroid patients, 24 work ability items were selected from previous questionnaires, revised, or developed anew. Items were tested among 632 patients with thyroid disease (non-toxic goiter, toxic nodular goiter, Graves' disease (with or without orbitopathy), autoimmune hypothyroidism, and other thyroid diseases), 391 of which had participated in a study 5 years previously. Responses to select items were compared to general population data. We used confirmatory factor analyses for categorical data, logistic regression analyses and tests of differential item function, and head-to-head comparisons of relative validity in distinguishing known groups. RESULTS: Although all work ability items loaded on a common factor, the optimal factor solution included five factors: role physical, role emotional, thyroid-specific limitations, work limitations (without disease attribution), and work performance. The scale on thyroid-specific limitations showed the most power in distinguishing clinical groups and time since diagnosis. A global single item proved useful for comparisons with the general population, and a thyroid-specific item predicted labor market exclusion within the next 5 years (OR 5.0, 95 % CI 2.7-9.1). CONCLUSIONS: Items on work limitations with attribution to thyroid disease were most effective in detecting impact on work ability and showed good predictive validity. Generic work ability items remain useful for general population comparisons


Nexø MA, Watt T, Bonnema S, Hegedus L, Rasmussen A, Feldt-Rasmussen U, Bjørner JB. Thyroid-specific questions on work ability showed known-groups validity among Danes with thyroid diseases. Quality of Life Research 2015;24(7):1615-1627.
doi: 10.1007/s11136-014-0896-0

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