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