Work ability index in Israeli hospital nurses: Applicability of the adapted questionnaire

Rafael S. Carel, Marina Zusman, Isabella Karakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Study Context: The Work Ability Index (WAI) questionnaire is widely used for evaluation of the work ability of workers. This is the first application of the validated Hebrew version of this questionnaire to Israeli nurses in order to evaluate factors affecting their work ability. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 515 nurses from two general hospitals in Israel (87.3% female). Results: A significant negative correlation was found between the WAI score and age, years in current job, and number of reported diagnoses. The most frequently reported illnesses (as diagnosed by a physician) were musculoskeletal disorders, endocrine/metabolic diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Agreement between illnesses as diagnosed by a physician and as self-reported by nurses was low, especially with respect to mental/emotional stress, (kappa statistics = 16.4%, p <.001). Conclusions: Mean WAI score found in Israeli hospital nurses is relatively high as compared with that of European nurses. It gradually decreases with age. The WAI questionnaire enables the early identification of those nurses with compromised work ability and who are in need of assistance in order to prevent early retirement. As retirement age is currently advancing, keeping elderly workers in the workforce is of prime importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-590
Number of pages12
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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