Table of contents
The Abilitator in client work
The Abilitator serves as an instrument for measuring work ability and functioning and as a tool in client work. The questionnaire is often utilised in services for the unemployed and persons whose position in the labour market is challenging due to factors such as extended periods of unemployment, gaps in work history or education and training or other competence-related challenges, varying degrees of health problems, disabilities or an immigrant background. The Abilitator was developed for assessing the work ability and functioning of these client groups in particular.
Using the Abilitator questionnaire does not require any specific professional or educational background, making it an effective shared tool for multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral networks. The Abilitator is not a diagnostic method. Instead, it is designed to provide a general assessment of the respondent’s situation from multiple perspectives.
When completed online, the Abilitator questionnaire provides the respondent with feedback that is designed to be easy to understand, encouraging and safe to receive. The Abilitator questionnaire can also be used to assess and make visible changes in the respondent’s situation by having the respondent complete the questionnaire multiple times.
If the results of the Abilitator questionnaire indicate that the respondent is facing challenges, their situation can be further assessed using other methods or they can be referred to undergo more detailed examinations.
The Abilitator as a tool for organisations, decision-makers and researchers
The Abilitator also serves as a tool for organisations, decision-makers and researchers. The Abilitator questionnaire can be used to collect reliable data on work ability and functioning, which can then be used for the situational assessment of different client groups and compared to similar data collected at population level.
In addition to this, the data collected via the Abilitator questionnaire can be used to assess the impact and effectiveness of services and utilised in the appropriate allocation of service resources and in knowledge-based decision-making, for example.
Development of the Abilitator
The Abilitator was developed in the Social Inclusion and Change in Work Ability and Functioning (Solmu) co-ordination project of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The project ran from 1 October 2014 to 31 August 2023 and was funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).
The development of the Abilitator was carried out in conjunction with ESF-funded projects. The target group of the projects was working-age people whose position in the labour market is challenging.
How can I start using the Abilitator questionnaire?
Support for using the Abilitator questionnaire
The Abilitator handbook is a collection of all the information related to using the Abilitator questionnaire, such as how to use the questionnaire in different services and how to calculate scores. The handbook is available in three languages: Finnish, Swedish and English.
The Abilitator form can be completed in Finnish, Swedish, Arabic, English, Farsi, Dutch, Japanese, Somali and Kurdish (Sorani). The Finnish version of the Abilitator form is also available in Easy Finnish and Easy Finnish for people with intellectual disabilities.
When telling clients about the Abilitator questionnaire, you can make use of the prepared texts shown in the accompanying bulletin. The texts are available in all the languages of the Abilitator questionnaire.
The Abilitator handbook
The Abilitator bulletin for clients
The Abilitator forms
Studies on the Abilitator questionnaire
The Abilitator questionnaire has been the subject of several studies. To learn more about these studies, please use the links below.
Intrarater reliability of the Abilitator – a self-report questionnaire on work ability and functioning aimed at the population in a weak labour market position: a test–retest study. Miia Wikström, Anne Kouvonen and Matti Joensuu. BMJ Open (2021).
The concurrent validity of the Abilitator: a self-assessment questionnaire on functioning and work ability. Minna Savinainen, Olli Jauhiainen, Hannu Heikkilä and Matti Joensuu. Journal of Public Health (2020).
Development and content validity of the Abilitator: A self-report questionnaire on work ability and functioning aimed at the population in a weak labour market position. Miia Wikström, Heidi Anttila, Minna Savinainen, Anne Kouvonen and Matti Joensuu. BMC Public Health (2020).
The association between changes in functional capacity and work ability among unemployed individuals. Minna Savinainen, Jorma Seitsamo and Matti Joensuu. The International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health (2019).
Factors associated with health and work ability among long-term unemployed individuals. Marja Hult and Kirsi Lappalainen. The International Journal of Occupational Health and Public Health Nursing (2018).