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Measurement quality and validity of the “need for recovery scale”
  1. M van Veldhoven1,
  2. S Broersen2
  1. 1Department of Human Resource Studies, Tilburg University, Netherlands
  2. 2Dutch Foundation for Quality in Occupational Health Care (SKB), Amsterdam, Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr M van Veldhoven, Tilburg University, Department of Human Resource Studies, PO Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, Netherlands;


The “need for recovery scale” is suggested as an operationalisation for the measurement of (early symptoms of) fatigue at work. Definition of and background on the concept of need for recovery are briefly discussed. Details about scale construction are summarised. Correlations with other relevant measurement scales on fatigue at work are presented to validate the operationalisation claim, as are early results on predictive validity.

A study is presented that further investigates the measurement quality and validity of the scale. The data used in this study were collected by Occupational Health Services for 68 775 workers during the period 1996–2000. Comparing the measurement quality of subgroups (Cronbach’s alpha) differing in terms of age class, sex, and education level, the general applicability of the scale was shown. The validity of the scale was studied by analysing its association with psychosocial risk factors. Multiple regression analyses of need for recovery were performed on individual and department level data, using 10 psychosocial job characteristics as independent variables. The two most important factors in the explanation of variance at the individual level were also dominant at the department level: pace and amount of work, and emotional workload. The percentage of explained variance was higher at the department level than at the individual level, and increased with department size.

Results suggest that the need for recovery scale is an adequate scale, both for applications at the individual and at the group (department/organisation) level.

  • fatigue
  • work
  • measurement
  • recovery
  • validity

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