Utility of the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS) in predicting long-term sick-leave in Danish patients with emotional disorders

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BACKGROUND: The Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS) is a self-administered measure designed to assess the level of inability to function socially as a consequence of a defined problem or disorder.

METHODS: A total of 230 patients with emotional disorders completed the Danish translation of the WSAS, measures of anxiety and depression, the Level of Personality Functioning Brief Form, the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 Short Form, and the World Health Organization Five-Item Well-Being Index (WHO-5). We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis of the previously suggested factor structure of the instrument. We furthermore evaluated the construct validity of the WSAS by means of its relationship with depression, anxiety, personality functioning, and overall well-being. Finally, we evaluated the utility of the WSAS to identify those on long-term sick-leave by conducting receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves.

RESULTS: The instrument had a poor to average fit with the previously reported single-factor structure, but a better fit to a modified single-factor structure. Cronbach's alpha and McDonald's omega showed good internal scale reliability (α = .79, ωtotal = .85). WSAS was positively correlated with measures of anxiety ( r = .33), depression ( r = .44), and personality functioning ( r = .23 and r = .20), and negatively correlated with WHO-5 wellbeing ( r = -.57). The optimal cut-off point in the ROC-analyses was 23, which yielded a sensitivity of 74% and a specificity of 55% in the prediction of sick-leave status.

DISCUSSION: The Danish WSAS shows promising psychometric properties, but has limited external validity insofar as predicting long-term sick leave in psychiatric patients with emotional disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)14-21
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2024

    Research areas

  • Humans, Social Adjustment, Sick Leave, Reproducibility of Results, Employment, Denmark, Psychometrics, Surveys and Questionnaires

ID: 380746293