Validation of a work capacity evaluation for individuals with psychiatric disorders

Roberte Zarate, Robert Paul Liberman, Jim Mintz, H. Keith Massel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Work disability is a key element in many psychiatric disorders; however, few assessment protocols have been validated that evaluate work capacity as they relate to psychiatric disability. In a study sponsored by the Social Security Administration, we examined the social and the construct validity of a battery of tasks designed to evaluate entry level work skills (i.e., skills that are basic for gainful employment). The assessment of social validity was conducted with vocational and rehabilitation counselors and community-based work supervisors who rated the tasks in terms of their relevance to "real world" jobs. Four of eight tasks were selected as most representative as those used in entry level jobs and were used in a work capacity evaluation. The assessment of construct validity was determined by a comparison of the productivity on these tasks of several groups with different psychiatric disabilities and disorders, as well as a normal control group. Participants with a psychotic diagnosis, as well as those previously adjudicated as disabled by the Social Security Administration, performed significantly more poorly on the work capacity evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-34
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rehabilitation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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