Article Text

AB1248-HPR Work Ability in Patients with Polymyositis and Dermatomyositis: An Explorative and Descriptive Study
  1. M. Regardt1,
  2. E. Welin Henriksson2,3,
  3. J. Sandqvist4,
  4. I.E. Lundberg5,
  5. M.-L. Schult6,7
  1. 1Department of occupational therapy, Karolinska University Hospital
  2. 2Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society, Karolinska Institutet
  3. 3Department of Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm
  4. 4Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linkoping University, Norrköping
  5. 5Department of Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Karolinska University Hospital
  6. 6The Rehabilitation Medicine University Clinic, Danderyd Hospital
  7. 7Department of Clinical Sciences, Danderyd Hospital, Division of Rehabilitation Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden


Background Polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM) are characterized by muscle weakness which affects activity and participation. Work and leisure are the activities patients with PM/DM perceive as most limited. Previous studies addressing work in terms of how many are employed and degree of sick-leave. No study has investigated the self-rated work ability or how the work environment affects the ability to work in these patients.

Objectives This study aimed to investigate the work situation, work ability, work-related risk factors, and influence of the physical and psycho-social work environment in patients with polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM).

Methods Patients with PM/DM were assessed using the Work Ability Index (WAI), and the Work Environment Impact Scale (WEIS).

Results Forty-eight patients (PM n=25 and DM n=23) participated (women/men: 29/19) with a mean age of 54 years (range 28-67 years, SD.10) and mean disease duration of nine years (SD.9). Forty-four percent worked full-time, 31% part-time and 25% were on full-time sick leave. More than 50% self-rated work ability as “poor” or “less good”. Physically strenuous work components were present “quite to very often” in 23-79% and more in patients on sick leave ≥2 years. For those working, the interfering factors in the work environment concerned task and time demands. Supporting factors concerned meaning of work, interactions with co-workers and others. Self-rated work ability correlated moderately–highly positive with percentage of full-time employment, work-related risk factors and opportunities and constraints in the work environment.

Conclusions Poor self-rated work ability is common in patients with PM/DM indicating a need to identify interfering risk factors and support patients to enhance work performance.

Disclosure of Interest None declared

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