Validation of the Return To Work Self-Efficacy questionnaire in a population of employees undergoing treatment for cancer

Rikke Rosbjerg*, Dorte Gilså Hansen, Robert Zachariae, Christina Malmose Stapelfeldt, Inger Hoejris, Mathias Tvilling Rasmussen, Susanne Wiben Drysdale, Merete Labriola

*Corresponding author for this work


Objective: Several Return To Work Self-Efficacy (RTWSE) questionnaires have been developed and found relevant to understanding the return to work (RTW) process of employees with various health problems, including employees with cancer. The aim of the present study was to examine the reliability and validity of the Danish 19-item RTWSE questionnaire (RTWSE-19DK) in a sample of employees with cancer. Methods: Employees undergoing treatment for cancer completed the RTWSE-19DK at baseline (n = 68) and at 1 week (n = 49). Additional questionnaires measured work ability, cancer-related self-efficacy and psychological distress. Internal consistency, test–retest reliability and construct validity were examined. Results: The total and the three subscales of the RTWSE-19DK showed good internal consistencies with Cronbach's alphas between 0.90 and 0.97 and high test–retest reliability with Intraclass Correlation Coefficients between 0.84 and 0.90. Examining construct validity, the RTWSE-19DK showed medium and large correlations with cancer-related self-efficacy (r = 0.54), mental work ability (r = 0.51), and general work ability (r = 0.35), small correlations with physical work ability (r = 0.26) and anxiety (r = −0.10), and no correlations with depression (r = −0.08) and test date (r = 0.03). Conclusion: The RTWSE-19DK showed good reliability and adequate validity in employees undergoing cancer treatment. In clinical practice, the RTWSE-19 questionnaire may help practitioners identify areas of concern in the RTW process of cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13373
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Care
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)e13373
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • cancer
  • psychometrics
  • return to work
  • self-efficacy
  • validation
  • vocational rehabilitation
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Efficacy
  • Humans
  • Psychometrics
  • Return to Work
  • Neoplasms/therapy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • efficacy
  • self&#8208


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