Background Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may impair work productivity and daily activity due to effects on joint function.
Objectives The objective of this study was to evaluate work disability and the main associated factors in patients with RA who participated in the TOMORROW study (registration number: UMIN000003876) started in 2010.
Methods Participants in the study comprised 192 RA patients (mean age, 58.4 years; females, 83.9%) and 192 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers (Vo: mean age, 57.7 years; females, 84.9%). Work-related outcomes were measured using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire (WPAI) by employment status (paid worker (PW), employed for ≥35 h/week; part-time worker (PTW), employed for <35 h/week; or home worker (HW), non-employed). Health status and daily activities were assessed using the EuroQol-5 Dimensions (EQ-5D) and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Disease Activity Score 28 based on CRP (DAS28) was used to assess disease severity.
Results No significant differences in percentages of participants in each employment status were evident between groups (PW/PTW/HW: RA, 18/17/65 [%]; Vo, 18/25/58 [%], p=0.105). No significant differences in percentages of absenteeism, presenteeism, overall work impairment (OWI) or percentage of activity impairment (AI) were evident between groups (Table 1). However, in the HW group, percentage of AI was higher in RA patients than in Vo (Table 1). Among RA patients, HW showed lower EQ-5D (p<0.001) and higher HAQ (p<0.001) than PW (Table 1). Higher DAS28 scores were observed in HW (3.05) than in PW (2.09) or PTW (2.37) (p<0.001 each).
Conclusions Surprisingly, no significant differences in employment status or work impairment were seen between RA and Vo groups among paid workers. HW with RA showed impaired daily activity and high disease activity compared to working RA patients.
Disclosure of Interest None declared