WSS - Work-ability Support Scale

(N.B. This measure is in the process of being updated)

WSS is a measure designed to assess an individual's ability to work and support needs in the context of their normal working environment following the onset of acquired disability. WSS is also used to support decision-making with regard to vocational rehabilitation.

It is designed to be used both for people actually in work, or as a planning tool for those considering returning to work.

The tool has 16 items across three domains of work functioning:

  • Physical / Environment
  • Thinking and communicating
  • Social / Behavioural

Scores range from 1 for constant support, to 7 for independence. There are also an additional 7 items related to contextual factors outside the workplace that could affect work functioning.

The detailed instructions and scale are available to download here: the WSS and Manual; WSS scoring hint summary sheet. Related publications for further information are listed below.

If you do decide to implement the measure in you practice, we request that you let us know so we can continue to keep track of how it is implemented in practice and help you navigate any issues.  Please email Dr Joanna Fadyl

Related publications:

Fadyl, J. K., McPherson, K. M., Schluter, P. J., & Turner-Stokes, L. (2014). Development of a new tool to evaluate work support needs and guide vocational rehabilitation: The Work-ability Support Scale (WSS). Disability and Rehabilitation. doi:10.3109/09638288.2014.914586

Turner-Stokes, L., Fadyl, J., Rose, H., Williams, H., Schluter, P., & McPherson, K. (2013). The Work-ability Support Scale: Evaluation of scoring accuracy and rater reliability. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation . doi:10.1007/s10926-013-9486-1

Fadyl, J., Mcpherson, K.,  Schüter, P., Turner-Stokes, L. Factors contributing to work-ability for injured workers: literature review and comparison with available measures. Informa Healthcare: 2010, Vol. 32, No. 14 , Pages 1173-1183 (doi:10.3109/09638281003653302)