Instruments for assessing permanent psychological impairment

Reasons for the study

Workers who are unable to fully recover from work-related injuries and are left with permanent residual disability that will affect their future earnings and prospects of promotion are said to have "a permanent impairment." When assessing the presence and level of permanent impairment, it is important that this assessment be performed reliably and accurately.

Numerous scales have been proposed to measure permanent impairment due to a psychological condition, but the evidence that these scales are good measures of permanent impairment has not been systematically assessed.

Objectives of the study

  • Systematically search the research literature to evaluate the measurement properties of three scales used to assess psychological impairment: Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), Global Assessment of Functioning Scale (GAF), and Psychiatric Impairment Rating Scale (PIRS)

Target audience

Depending on the findings, the results may provide guidance to workers' compensation boards and clinical assessors with respect to the scales used to assess psychological impairment and the confidence they can have in them.

Project status


Research team

Collaborators and partners

WorkSafe BC

Funded by