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Working with a chronic disorder: The development of the Work and Handicap Questionnaire

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Author: Andries, F. · Kremer, A.M. · Hoogendoorn, W.E. · Wevers, C.W.J. · Putten, D.J. van
Source:International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, 1, 27, 37-44
Identifier: 237641
doi: doi:10.1097/00004356-200403000-00005
Keywords: Workplace · Arbeidsparticipatie · Chronic disorders · Job demands · Work adjustments · Work handicaps · Health · Personnel · Patient rehabilitation · Adolescent · Disability · Employee · Hereditary motor sensory neuropathy · Job performance · Major clinical study · Multiple sclerosis · Myasthenia gravis · Myotonic dystrophy · Neuromuscular disease · Rating scale · Reliability · Scoring system · Self report · Social support · Spinal muscular atrophy · World health organization · Adult · Asthma · Chronic Disease · Female · Health Status Indicators · Humans · Male · Multiple Sclerosis · Neuromuscular Diseases · Questionnaires · Beroepsrehabilitatie · Arbeidsongeschikten · Reintegratie · Arbeidsgehandicapten · Enquetes · Arbeid door gehandicapten


The Work and Handicap Questionnaire (WHQ) was developed to improve the vocational perspectives of patients with a chronic disorder. The WHQ differs from similar instruments in its explicit linkage between disabilities in daily life and job demands. This is an important feature, which allows for the development of specific strategies to counter work problems of people with a chronic disorder. The WHQ makes an inventory of possibly harmful working conditions and of possible strategies to counter health-related work problems by means of the work adjustments. Results of the application of the WHQ are shown for three patient groups (neuromuscular disorders, multiple sclerosis and asthma) and a group of colleagues with no chronic disorder. Results show similarities and differences between labour conditions and labour experiences between the three patient groups. It also shows differences and similarities between those working with a chronic disorder and those without such a disorder. Acceptance of the consequences of a chronic disorder for the job performance and a focus on health-related work problems would prolong career opportunities for workers with a chronic disorder. The use of the Work and Handicap Questionnaire will hopefully further these aims in determining health-related work problems and offer solutions by means of adequate work adjustment.