Measurement tools

"Make a positive difference to your organisation with an employee health and wellbeing strategy that delivers results"

Example measurement instruments


Tools are selected based on each organizations’ aims, resources and needs.




Measures of psychosocial hazards


The Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) (Karasek, 1998) is a 17-item self-administered instrument designed to measure social and psychological characteristics of jobs. The best-known scales - (a) decision latitude, (b) psychological demands, and (c) social support - are used to measure the high-demand/low control/ low-support model of job strain development. For this measure, internal reliability has been found to be acceptable across gender (Cronbach’s Alpha = .73 for women, and .74 for men).


The Effort-Reward Imbalance (ERI) questionnaire (Siegrist, 1996) measures effort and reward. Effort (five items) is defined as the demanding aspects of the work environment (I have constant time pressure due to a heavy work load; I have a lot of responsibility in my job.). Reward (11 items) is defined as (a) financial reward, (b) esteem reward (I receive the respect I deserve from my superiors), (c) reward related to promotion prospects (My job promotion prospects are poor.), and d) job security (I have experienced or I expect to experience an undesirable change in my work situation.).



Measures of well-being


The General Health Questionnaire (Goldberg & Williams, 1988) is a screening device for identifying common mental health problems in the general population such as somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and severe depression. The 28-item version that is used most widely, has been translated in 38 languages and has high internal consistency (Cronbach’s Alpha = .90) and acceptable validity (Jackson, 2007; Goldberg & Williams, 1988).


Anxiety: GAD-7 is a one dimensional self-administered scale which is designed to assess the presence of the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), as listed in the DSM-IV. Scores for all 7 items range from 0 (Not at all) to 3 (Nearly every day). Therefore, the total GAD-7 score ranges from 0 and 21. The total score may be categorized into four severity groups: minimal (0-4), mild (5-9), moderate (10-14) and serious anxiety (14-20).


Depression (PHQ-9): The PHQ-9 is the full depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ). The stem question is, “Over the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?” Example of items are: “little interest or pleasure in doing things” and “feeling, down, depressed, or hopeless”. For each of the 9 items, the response options are “not at all”, “several days”, “more than half the days”, and “nearly every day”, scored as 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Thus, the PHQ-9 score can range from 0 to 27.


Burnout: Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Human Services Survey. Burnout is a type of prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors at work. It is seen as a psychological syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment.


Alcohol consumption: Audit C.  The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test—Consumption (AUDIT-C) is a brief validated screen for risky drinking and alcohol abuse and dependence (Frank, DeBenedetti, Volk, Williams, Kivlahan & Bradley, 2008). The 3 questions (0-4 points each) results in possible AUDIT-C scores of 0–12 points.





Operational effectiveness


Stanford Presenteeism Scale (SPS-6): Presenteeism means to be physically present at work but productivity and quality of work is compromised due to the health problem(s) (Koopman et al., 2002). The SPS-6 measures workers’ ability to concentrate and accomplish work despite health problems in the past month. The underlying concept of presenteeism is active employee engagement in work. Job performance. Job performance in the form of task performance behaviour,

Absenteeism (questions from World Health Organization’s Health and Work performance Questionnaire - HPQ; Kessler et al., 2003)

organisational citizenship behaviour directed at the organisation (OCB-O) and organisational citizenship behaviour directed at the individuals (OCB-I) can be measured using the 21-item job performance scale developed by Williams and Anderson (1991) (or shorter 7 item version, measuring just task performance).


Job Satisfaction (job satisfaction scale from the Pressure Management Indicator- PMI; Williams & Cooper, 1998): The PMI is a 120-item self-report questionnaire developed from the Occupational Stress Indicator (OSI). The PMI is more reliable, more comprehensive, and shorter than the OSI. It provides an integrated measure of the major dimensions of occupational stress. The outcome scales measure job satisfaction, organizational satisfaction, organizational security, organizational commitment, anxiety-depression, resilience, worry, physical symptoms, and exhaustion.





Individual characteristics (moderating factors)


Self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale; Rosenberg, 1965): Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale was chosen because it is the most commonly used scale in scientific studies about self-esteem (Blaschovich & Tomaka, 1991). The scale has also been proved to have a high reliability and validity in various studies when it comes to measuring self-esteem (Cheng & Furnham, 2003). The scale is a ten-item scale with items answered on a 4-points rating scale - from strongly agree to strongly disagree.


Self-efficacy (self-efficacy scale developed by Schwarzer & Jerusalem, 1995). The self-efficacy scale developed by Schwarzer and Jerusalem (1995) consisting of ten items was used. The scale was created to assess a general sense of perceived self-efficacy with the aim in mind to predict coping with daily hassles as well as adaptation after experiencing all kinds of stressful life events. The scale had reported reliability coefficients ranged from (.76 to .90), and scored on a 5-point Likert scale from (1) completely disagree to (5) completely agree. An example of an item from the self-efficacy scale was: “I can solve most problems if I invest the necessary effort”.


Personality traits (Type A behavior pattern which is a combination of a competitive need for achievement, a sense of time urgency, aggressiveness and hostility - Bortner scale; Bortner, 1969). Type A behaviour pattern (TABP) has its origin in Friedman and Rosenman’s (1974) description of behaviours made from observations carried out in the 1950s. These authors propose that the TABP implies trait characteristics in the person, which in interaction with certain environmental events, result in certain behaviours. Among the characteristics included in the TABP are: competitiveness, aggressiveness, irritability, work orientation, worrying about deadlines, urgency, etc. The original version of the Bortner scale contains 14 items, each consisting of two phrases placed at the opposite ends of a continuum raging from extreme TABP to the absence of TABP.


Coping/resilience (coping style scale from Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire –COPSOQ, Kristensen et al., 2005): COPSOQ is a questionnaire developed in three different lengths for assessing psychosocial factors at work, stress, and the well-being of employees and some personality factors (coping style, sense of coherence). The purpose of the COPSOQ concept is to improve and facilitate research, as well as practical interventions at workplaces.