The Cognitive Function at Work Questionnaire (CFWQ): A new scale for measuring cognitive complaints in occupational population

Anna-Leena Heikkinen, Tuomo Hänninen, Pekka Kuikka, Ritva Akila, Aslak Savolainen, Teppo Valtonen, Adil Umer, Jyrki Lötjönen, Christer Hublin, Anne M. Remes, Teemu Paajanen (Corresponding Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Cognitive functioning is a relevant work and health related topic, however, validated methods to assess subjective cognitive complaints (SCC) at work are lacking. We introduce the Cognitive Function at Work Questionnaire (CFWQ) for measuring SCC in occupational settings. 1-year follow-up data of 418 employees from a Finnish public media service company was analyzed. Participants completed web-based CFWQ, cognitive tests and a broad set of questionnaires for evaluating depression, anxiety, insomnia, daytime sleepiness, burnout, stress, mental job burden, work ability, cognitive errors, and perceived health. The factor analysis yielded a model with the CFWQ subdomains: Memory, Language, Executive Function, Speed of Processing, Cognitive Control and Name Memory. The internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha =.87) and the test-retest constancy (ICC =.84) reflected good reliability. Correlation between the CFWQ and cognitive errors at work ranged from.25 to.64 indicating adequate concurrent validity. Employees with depression, insomnia and burnout symptoms had higher (p <.001) CFWQ scores than participants without these symptoms. Depression and burnout symptom severity as well as accumulation of mood, sleep, and psychosocial stressors were associated with higher CFWQ scores (p <.001 in all). The CFWQ appears psychometrically sound measure for the assessment of SCC in occupational population.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)649-660
    JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Adult
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2023
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    The study was supported by Finnish Work Environment Fund. First author A-LH has received personal research grants from the University of Oulu Scholarship Foundation and the Finnish Brain Foundation sr. No funding source had any role in the designing, analysis or interpretation of the results in this study.


    • Cognition
    • memory
    • neuropsychology
    • subjective cognitive complaint
    • work performance


    Dive into the research topics of 'The Cognitive Function at Work Questionnaire (CFWQ): A new scale for measuring cognitive complaints in occupational population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this