Functional Recovery Questionnaire

The Functional Recovery Questionnaire (FRQ) was developed based on data from a large prospective study of Washington State workers with work-related back injury claims (CDC/NIOSH grant 5R01 OH004069).1, 2

  • Purpose -- To identify, soon after a work-related injury, those injured workers at high risk of not being able to work one year later.
  • Assessment Areas --
    • Pain interference with activities- 1 question from the Graded Chronic Pain Scale3, 4
    • Pain sites
    • Recovery expectation – 1 question from the Vermont Disability Prediction Questionnaire5
    • Fear avoidance – 1 question from the Fear Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire6
  • Time required -- Less than 5 minutes – 6 questions
  • Accuracy of the predictive model was validated using a 10-fold cross-validation procedure.  More detail can be found in Reference #1, below.


An at-risk injured worker is identified by responses to the first 3 questions: a “yes” to the first question, a response of 5 or higher, and for question three, 2 or more sites selected OR selecting just the Low Back with leg pain option.

The answers to questions 4-6 are not part of scoring. They capture information on availability of modified work, workers' recovery expectations, and workers' fear of worsening their condition with work activities, all of which have been shown to be associated with risk of developing chronic pain and disability (Turner et al., 2008). This information can help a provider target specific interventions for a worker who has particular risk factors.

Notice of Copyright

The FRQ copyright is held by the University of Washington. The copyright applies to the FRQ and all its derivatives in any language.

Current Use

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries ( added completion of the FRQ as part of the standard work of Health Services Coordinators and as the 4th best practice within their Centers of Occupational Health and Education and the Physician Recognition Program.

Approved Use by Others:

You are welcome to download, copy and use the FRQ as long as the copyright notice remains intact on all copies and we are credited in any publication. Here is an example citation:

This FRQ is Copyright © 2008, 2024 University of Washington. All Rights Reserved. The use of this FRQ is covered by the conditions described at and is being used with permission from the University of Washington.

What you may not do:

The FRQ may not be modified or translated into another language without express written consent of the copyright holder. Failure to comply may result in legal action. Contact us to obtain permission to modify or translate. You may not use the FRQ commercially or charge a fee.

The FRQ can be downloaded HERE.

Related Publications:

  1. Fulton-Kehoe D, Stover B, Turner JA, Sheppard L, Gluck J, Wickizer T, Franklin GM. Development of a brief questionnaire to predict long-term disability. J Occup Environ Med 50:1042-1052, 2008.
  2. Turner JA, Franklin G, Fulton-Kehoe D, Sheppard L, Stover B, Wu R, Gluck JV, Wickizer TM. ISSLS prize winner: Early predictors of chronic work disability: A prospective, population-based study of workers with back injuries. Spine 33:2809-2818, 2008.
  3. Von Korff M, Ormel J, Keefe FJ, Dworkin SF. Grading the severity of chronic pain. Pain 50:133-149, 1992.
  4. Von Korff M. Epidemiological and survey methods: assessment of chronic pain. In: Turk DC, Melzack R, eds. Handbook of pain assessment. Second ed. New York: The Guilford Press; 2001:603-18.
  5. Hazard RG, Haugh LD, Reid S, Preble JB, MacDOnald L. Early prediction of chronic disability after occupational low back injury. Spine 21:945-951, 1996.
  6. Waddell G, Newton M, Henderson I, Somerville D, Main CJ. A Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire (FABQ) and the role of fear-avoidance beliefs in chronic low back pain and disability. Pain 52:157–168, 1993.