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The Reliability and Validity of the Caregiver Work Limitations Questionnaire

Lerner, Debra MS, PhD; Parsons, Susan K. MD, MRP; Chang, Hong PhD; Visco, Zachary L. BA; Pawlecki, J. Brent MD, MMM

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2015 - Volume 57 - Issue 1 - p 22–31
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000277
Original Articles

Objective: To test a new Caregiver Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ). On the basis of the original WLQ, this new survey instrument assesses the effect of caregiving for ill and/or disabled persons on the caregiver's work performance.

Method: A questionnaire was administered anonymously to employees of a large business services company. Scale reliability and validity were tested with psychometric methods.

Results: Of 4128 survey participants, 18.3% currently were caregivers, 10.2% were past caregivers, and 71.5% were not caregivers. Current caregivers were limited in their ability to perform basic job tasks between mean 10.3% and 16.8% of the time. Confirmatory factor analysis yielded a scale structure similar to the WLQ's. Scales reliabilities (the Cronbach's α) ranged from 0.91 to 0.95.

Conclusions: The Caregiver WLQ is a new tool for understanding the workplace effect of caregiving.

From the Program on Health, Work and Productivity (Drs Lerner and Chang, Mr. Visco) and Program on Child and Family Outcomes (Dr Parsons), Center for Health Solutions, Tufts Medical Center, Boston Mass; and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Dr Pawlecki), Akron, Ohio.

Address correspondence to: Debra Lerner, MS, PhD, Program on Health, Work and Productivity, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington St, #345, Boston, MA 02111 (

This work was supported by the Tufts Cancer Center Pilot Grants Program.

All authors report no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine