Objective The Work Role Functioning Questionnaire 2.0 (WRFQ), measuring the percentage of time a worker has difficulties in meeting the work demands for a given health state, has shown strong reliability and validity in various populations with different chronic conditions. The present study aims to validate the WRFQ in working cancer patients.
Methods A validation study of the WRFQ 2.0 was conducted, using baseline data from the longitudinal Work Life after Cancer study. Structural validity (Confirmatory Factor Analysis, CFA), internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha) and discriminant validity (hypothesis testing) were evaluated.
Results 352 working cancer patients, most of them diagnosed with breast cancer (48%) and 58% in a job with mainly non-manual tasks, showed a mean WRFQ score of 78.6 (SD = 17.1), which means that they had on average difficulties for 78.6% of the time they spent working. Good internal consistency (alpha = 0.96) and acceptable to good fit for both the four and five-factor model (CFA) was found. The WRFQ distinguished between cancer patients reporting good vs. poor health (80.3 vs. 73.0, p = 0.001), low vs. high fatigue (82.0 vs. 72.2, p <0.001), no vs. clinical depression (80.4 vs. 58.8, p <0.001) and low vs. high cognitive symptoms (86.1 vs. 64.7, p <0.001).
Conclusions The WRFQ 2.0 is a reliable and valid instrument to measure work functioning in working cancer patients. Further psychometric research on responsiveness is needed to support its use in health practice.