Participation Scale

Participation Scale is an 18-item measure of perceived problems in major, mainly socio-economic areas of life among people affected by disease or disability. The instrument was developed in 7 languages and uses domains of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF)


Geographies Tested: Brazil,India,Nepal

Populations Included: Female, Male

Age Range:


Compared to your peers...

1. Do you have equal opportunity as your peers to find work?
2. Do you work as hard as your peers do? (same hours, type of work, etc.)
3. Do you contribute to the household economically in a similar way to your peers?
4. Do you make visits outside your village/neighbourhood as much as your peers do? (except for treatment) e.g. bazaars, markets
5. Do you help other people (e.g. neighbours, friends or relatives)?
6. Do you take as much part in casual recreational/social activities as do your peers? (e.g. sports, chat, meetings)
7. Are you as socially active as your peers are? (e.g. in religious/community affairs)
8. Do you visit other people in the community as often as other people do?
9. Are you comfortable meeting new people?
10. Do you have the same respect in the community as your peers?
11. Do you move around inside and outside the house and around the village/neighbourhood just as other people do?
12. In your village/neighbourhood, do you visit all the public places/common places? (including schools, shops, offices, market and tea/coffee shops)
13. Do you have opportunity to take care of yourself (appearance, nutrition, health etc.) as well as your peers?
14. In your home, do you do household work?
15. In family discussions, do your opinion count?
16. In your home, are the eating utensils you use kept with those used by the rest of the household?
17. Do you take part in major festivals and rituals as your peers do? (e.g. weddings, funerals, religious festivals)
18. Do you feel confident to try to learn new things?

Response Options:
Yes - 0
Irrelevant, I don't want to, don't have to

For any response of sometimes, no, or irrelevant:
How big a problem is it to you?

Response Options:
No problem - 1
Small - 2
Medium - 3
Large - 5

Scoring Procedures

The individual scores of all items are summed to create the total measure score. Scores are broken into the following categories:
0-12: No significant restriction
13-22: Mild restriction
23-32: Moderate restriction
33-52: Severe restriction
53-90: Extreme restriction

Original Citation

van Brakel, W. H., Anderson, A. M., Mutatkar, R. K., Bakirtzief, Z., Nicholls, P. G., Raju, M. S., & Das-Pattanayak, R. K. (2006). The Participation Scale: Measuring a key concept in public health. Disability and Rehabilitation, 28(4), 193-203.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


Join the EMERGE Community

to get the latest updates on new measures and guidance for survey researchers