The aim of this study was to investigate the factors associated with self-perceived work ability in patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorder grades II-III. A total of 166 working age patients with chronic whiplash-associated disorder participated in this study. A comprehensive survey collected data on work ability (using the Work Ability Index); demographic, psychosocial, personal, work- and condition-related factors was conducted. Forward, stepwise regression modelling was used to assess the factors related to work ability. The proportion of patients in each work ability category were as follows: poor (12.7%); moderate (39.8%); good (38.5%); excellent (9%). Seven factors explained 65% (adjusted R2 = 0.65, p < 0.01) of the variance in work ability. In descending order of strength of association, these factors are: greater neck disability due to pain; reduced self-rated health status and health-related quality of life; increased frequency of concentration problems; poor workplace satisfaction; lower self-efficacy for performing daily tasks; and increased work-related stress.
Condition-specific and psychosocial factors are related to self-perceived work ability of persons with chronic whiplash-associated disorder.