Background From onset of IA onwards, the consequences for participation are substantial for the individual patient. Reduced work participation frequently occurs early in the course of the disease.Research in the field of arthritis and employment has focused mainly on permanentwork disability (i.e. arthritis related unemployment, early retirement, or disability pension) and its underlying risk factors (1-4).
Objectives To review research on the occurrence and magnitude of productivity loss at work and sick leave in inflammatory arthritis (IA) patients and to identify its determinants.
Methods PubMed, EMbase, PsycINFO and CINAHL articles to November 2011on IA and productivity loss at work or sick leave were reviewed. Methodological quality was assessed usinga criteria list developed by the authors.
Results Forty-one original studies were identified. Sick leave in IA patients varied from 3.7% in the past four days to 84% in the past 2.5 years. Total duration of sick leave ranged from 0.33 days to 11 days per patient over one month. Six studies reported on 29 different determinants of sick leave of which pain and functional disability were consistently associated. About 17% to 88% of IA patients experienced productivity loss at work. Three studies investigated determinants. Tumor necrosis factor inhibitors (TNFi) were associated with reduced productivity loss at work and sick leave in the trials evaluated. The included studies showed heterogeneity in populations, definitions and measurements of productivity loss at work and sick leave.
Conclusions Early inflammatory arthritis impacts on worker productivity but its estimated magnitude varies. Higher levels of sick leave and productivity loss at work were reported for increased levels of pain and decreased levels of functional ability. TNFi use decreased both sick leave and productivity loss at work.
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Disclosure of Interest None Declared