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Construct validity and test–retest reliability of the revised Upper Extremity Work Demands (UEWD-R) Scale

Abstract

Background The revised Upper Extremity Work Demand (UEWD-R) Scale is a six-item self-report questionnaire to measure the workload of the upper limbs. UEWD-R consists of a force/posture scale and a repetition scale. Psychometric properties are unknown so far.

Purpose Assess the construct validity and the test–retest reliability of UEWD-R.

Method Participants from different levels of physical work demands (based on the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) categories) were included. Construct validity was determined by testing 11 predefined hypotheses regarding UEWD-R related to other constructs, including a workplace observation using the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA). Correlations between these measures were calculated using Spearman correlation coefficients. Test–retest reliability was determined using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) for agreement. The smallest detectable change (SDC) was calculated.

Results Fifty-four participants participated (63% men, mean age 39.4 years). The four DOT categories were equally represented. Nine out of 11 predefined correlations were confirmed (82%), indicating good construct validity. Strong expected correlations of UEWD-R-total versus RULA-C (r=0.69) and UEWD-R-repetition versus RULA-muscle (r=0.12) were not confirmed. The test–retest reliability was good (ICC agreement=0.79). The SDC was 4.85.

Conclusion Construct validity and the test–retest reliability of UEWD-R were good. UEWD-R can be used to evaluate the workload of the upper extremities. However, further research is advised to assess the validity of the UEWD-R not only by testing associations with RULA,but also with other observational measures.

  • Workload
  • upper extremity
  • Psychometric properties
  • Self-report

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