The purpose of the Job-Related Self-Efficacy questionnaire is to measure confidence in coping with job activities and functioning at work with musculoskeletal disorders.
An investigation of cross-cultural validity requires data from comparable populations. In our study, the sample consisted mainly of women in the health and care sector, while the American sample included representation of both genders and various occupations (11). The large concurrence in results, despite the fact that the questionnaire was used in samples drawn from different occupations and cultures, indicates that the questionnaire is robust. The cross-cultural validation shows that the translated questionnaire contains the same underlying three factors as the original questionnaire.
Internal consistency was high, both for the total score and for each factor. Cronbach's alpha was high for all questions in total in Job-Related Self-Efficacy and even higher for questions in the three factors meet job requirements, communicate needs to co-workers and superiors and adapt job activities after correction for the number of questions. This concurs with what Shaw and co-authors found in the original questionnaire (11).
While Job-Related Self-Efficacy measures confidence in returning to work, the Tampa scale for kinesiophobia measures fear of movement and pain/exacerbation. The questionnaires have different theoretical bases. Low self-efficacy and fear of pain related to musculoskeletal disorders may both preclude a person from working (8). We may assume that self-efficacy and kinesiophobia are related concepts and that the answers to the two questionnaires will co-vary to some extent. This is confirmed both in the American study (11) and our finding of a low correlation between Job-Related Self-Efficacy and the Tampa scale for kinesiophobia.
A number of studies have shown that self-efficacy is more important than kinesiophobia for explaining impairment as a result of pain (20–22). Identification of self-efficacy may therefore be especially important when the goal is to return to work (7). We found a low correlation between the questionnaires Job-Related Self-Efficacy and Demand-Control-Support. Shaw (11) compared The Return-to-Work Self-Efficacy Scale with other questionnaires and also found low correlations.
People may have relatively similar health and environment, but still differ in their success in returning to, functioning in and remaining at work in the face of musculoskeletal disorders. Insight into the employee's confidence in his or her ability to remain in or return to work after sick leave may contribute to solutions in case of musculoskeletal disorders. By using the questions in the questionnaire and the responses to them as a concrete basis, interventions can be adapted to the job situation of each individual (6, 7).
A person with high self-efficacy needs less follow-up and fewer interventions than someone whose self-efficacy is low as revealed by the scores on the questionnaire. This is supported by the original version, which showed that the questionnaire predicts who will return to work and who will remain on sick leave (11).
One weakness of this study is its lack of reliability testing. In addition, the Norwegian version should be tested on samples that are representative of different occupations and genders.