Background This study was carried out to evaluate the psychometric properties of an Iranian translation of the Work Ability Index (WAI) questionnaire. Methods In this methodological study, nurses and healthcare workers aged 40 years and older who worked in educational hospitals in Ahvaz (236 workers) in 2010, completed the questionnaire and 60 of the workers filled out the WAI questionnaire for the second time to ensure test–retest reliability. Forward–backward method was applied to translate the questionnaire from English into Persian. The psychometric properties of the Iranian translation of the WAI were assessed using the fallowing tests: Internal consistency (to test reliability), test–retest analysis, exploratory factor analysis (construct validity), discriminate validity by comparing the mean WAI score in two groups of the employees that had different levels of sick leave, criterion validity by determining the correlation between the Persian version of short form health survey (SF-36) and WAI score. Results Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was estimated to be 0.79 and it was concluded that the internal consistency was high enough. The intraclass correlation coefficient was recognized to be 0.92. Factor analysis indicated three factors in the structure of the work ability including self-perceived work ability (24.5% of the variance), mental resources (22.23% of the variance), and presence of disease and health related limitation (18.55% of the variance). Statistical tests showed that this questionnaire was capable of discriminating two groups of employees who had different levels of sick leave. Criterion validity analysis showed that this instrument and all dimensions of the Iranian version of SF-36 were correlated significantly. Item correlation corrective for overlap showed the items tests had a good correlation except for one. Conclusion The finding of the study showed that the Iranian version of the WAI is a reliable and valid measure of work ability and can be used both in research and practical activities.
An Iranian translation of the Work Ability Index questionnaire Psychometric properties Reliability Validity Work ability Iran