COPSOQ – Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire

The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire (COPSOQ) serves as a comprehensive instrument utilized across various sectors and professions to quantify psychological stress and strain experienced in the workplace. Grounded in an occupational science model, it posits a direct relationship between work conditions (stressors) and the well-being of employees (strains).

Available in two versions, the COPSOQ offers flexibility to cater to different research and assessment needs. The long version encompasses 30 scales and 141 items, while the screening instrument provides a more condensed option with 25 scales and 87 items.

The COPSOQ brings several advantages to the table. It allows for a nuanced evaluation of diverse stressors and individual strains, backed by numerous comparison and norm values for reference purposes. Additionally, studies have affirmed its external validity, indicating a strong transferability of results to real-world work environments.

However, it’s not without its limitations. Some scales within the COPSOQ exhibit weak internal consistencies, particularly in the shorter version. Moreover, the extensive number of items can present challenges, potentially hindering the integration of additional scales. Additionally, individuals with lower levels of education may encounter comprehension issues with certain items, limiting its suitability in such contexts.

Nevertheless, despite these drawbacks, the COPSOQ remains a prevalent tool for quantitatively assessing employee stress and strain in the workplace. Its results offer a robust foundation for understanding and addressing the complexities of workplace stressors and strains.

  • Nübling, M., Stößel, U., Hasselhorn, H.-M., Hofmann, F. (2005). Methoden zur Erfassung psychischer Belastungen. Erprobung eines Messinstrumentes (COPSOQ). Bremerhaven: Wirtschaftsverlag NW.
  • Kristensen, Tage & Hannerz, Harald & Hogh, Annie & Borg, Vilhelm. (2006). The Copenhagen Psychosocial Questionnaire – A tool for the assessment and improvement of the psychosocial work environment. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health. 
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