Linking job duties, functioning, and employment status using the Work-Disability Functional Assessment Battery (WD-FAB): An expert coding and quantitative analysis.

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: An understanding of the link between specific occupational demands and individual worker functioning is limited, although such information could permit an assessment of the fit between the two in a manner that would inform national and state disability programs such as vocational rehabilitation and Social Security disability programs. OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to examine the utility of assessing physical and mental functioning relative to self-reported job duties to identify the domains of worker functioning most likely to create barriers to fulfilling an occupation's specific requirements. METHODS: Through primary survey data collection, 1770 participants completed the Work-Disability Functional Assessment Battery (WD-FAB) instrument after reporting details on their occupations (or most recent occupation if not working). Expert coders evaluated the level of function expected to successfully carry out each self-reported job duty with respect to six scales of physical and mental function. Quantitative analysis is used to examine the relationship between functioning and job duties. RESULTS: Those not working due to disability were more likely to fall short of the threshold of the physical and mental functioning requirements of their last job's three main job duties compared to those currently employed. Mental function scales were most likely to be the area experiencing a shortfall. CONCLUSIONS: Functional difficulties impede the ability to continue working in particular jobs that require that ability. This points to a need for specific accommodations to be implemented to bridge the gap between job requirements and functional capacity so that workers may remain engaged in their current work.
  • Authors

  • Henly, Megan
  • McDonough, Christine M
  • Porcino, Julia
  • Peterik, Kara
  • Rasch, Elizabeth K
  • Marfeo, Elizabeth E
  • Houtenville, Andrew J
  • Brucker, Debra
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2023
  • Published In

  • Work  Journal
  • Keywords

  • Disability Evaluation
  • Disabled Persons
  • Employment
  • Humans
  • Occupations
  • Rehabilitation, Vocational
  • Work disability
  • employment
  • mental health
  • physical health
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 36120752
  • Start Page

  • 75
  • End Page

  • 87
  • Volume

  • 74
  • Issue

  • 1