Background Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), adversely affect patients in terms of pain, function, and quality of life. AS have a significant influence on individual employment status and work-related productivity, in addition to the significant burden on patients, their families and to society.
Objectives Our aim was to estimate the influence of socio-demographic and clinical characteristics and perceived quality of life on sick leave in working age AS patients.
Methods A total of 369 AS patients recruited from 10 rheumatology centers, were investigated. Socio-demographic (age, gender, profession), clinical characteristics [disease duration, disease activity (BASDAI), physical function (BASFI), metrological repercussion (BASMI) and chest expansion] and Quality of Life (QoL) repercussion (SF-36, EQ-5D) data was registered. The non-parametric Mann-Whitney-Wilcoxon and the Fisher test were used to verify demographic and clinical differences between patients groups with and without sick leave. Logistic regression models were used to explain the variability of sick leave.
Results Among the 316 with professional status available, 88 (23.9%) were retired and 218 were working (53,2%). Of these, 2.7% declared having had sick leave in the year preceding the survey. Lower mean of SF-36 (p=0.002) and EQ-5D (p=0.001) values were seen in patients reporting sick leave. No statistically relevant association was observed between sick leave and any of the socio-demographic and clinical variables. Controlling for age and gender, it was estimated a reduction of 9% in the probability of having sick leave days for each 1% increment in SF-36 total score.
Conclusions Qol seems to be the major determinant of sick leave. All aspects influencing QoL must be considered regarding AS therapy.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared
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