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“Introduction The assessment of whether an employee is able to participate in work is complex (Slebus et al. 2007). According to the World Health Organizations’ International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), participation depends on the following five components: disease and disorder, functions and structures, activities, environmental factors, and personal factors (WHO 2001). In case of a disease or disorder, the assessment of whether or not a patient
is able to work is often performed by physicians and is traditionally based on legislation, administrative rules, and the physicians’ expertise (De Boer et al. 2009). Casein kinase 1 These assessments are performed for return-to-work decisions and for disability claim assessments. For most physicians, these assessments consist of a comparison between the work ability of a patient and the required demands of a job (Söderberg and Alexanderson 2005; Slebus et al. 2007). Where the work ability matches the job, a person is considered to be able to participate in work. Since there are few instruments available to support physicians in these assessments, it is not surprising that the reliability—a major indicator of an instrument’s measurement quality—of these assessments performed by physicians specifically trained for these tasks varied between “poor” and “good” (Brouwer et al. 2003; Spanjer et al. 2010; Slebus et al. 2010). For the assessment of work ability in patients with musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), reliable questionnaires and performance-based measures are available (Wind et al. 2005).