Background Rheumatoid Arthritis impacts negatively on quality of life and work productivity. There are virtually no data on the employment status and burden of disease in RA patients from Latin-America (LA).
Objectives To assess the burden of RA on work productivity and health related quality of life in LA patients.
Methods Consecutive RA patients attending 20 rheumatology outpatient clinics distributed in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico were included and completed the following standard questionnaires: Workplace Activity Limitations Scale (WALS), Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI), Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ), EuroQol (EQ-5D) and Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36). Sociodemographic data were also collected.
Results The study included 309 patients, 90% female, mean age of 43 years (SD 9) and disease duration of 8 years (SD 8). At least 40% of patients reported some difficulty in all workplace activities (WALS), especially “crouching, bending, kneeling or working in awkward positions” (83%) and “lifting, carrying or moving objects” (80%). WPAI showed employment rate of 58%, and mean work time lost in a week of 4.3hs (SD 15.8). For WLQ, physical job demands were affected in 42% of patients followed by time demands in 34%. Mean self-evaluated health status using EQ-5D visual analogue scale (where 0=worst and 100=best health status) was 69 (SD 20), ranging from 63 (SD 22) in Brazil to 75 (SD 21) in Mexico. EQ-5D dimension mostly impaired was pain and discomfort with only 20.3% reporting have no problems in that dimension, while 72% reported have no problems with self-care. SF-36 physical and mental component scores for the total sample were 39 (SD 9.8) and 45 (SD 11.4), respectively. Lower values were observed for the physical component in Brazil (34) and the mental component in Argentina and Colombia (44). The table below summarizes these results for each country analyzed.
Conclusions RA affects both work performance and quality of life in a substantial proportion of patients. Although similar trends were shown among countries, Brazilian patients reported to be more affected in most of evaluated aspects.
Disclosure of Interest R. Xavier Consultant for: Abbvie, Pfizer, Janssen, AstraZeneca, BMS and Roche, Speakers bureau: Abbvie, Pfizer, Janssen, AstraZeneca, BMS and Roche, J. Morales-Torres Consultant for: Abbvie, Amgen, Lilly; Merck; Novartis; Pfizer; Roche; Sanofi and Servier, Speakers bureau: Abbvie, Amgen, Lilly; Merck; Novartis; Pfizer; Roche; Sanofi and Servier, D. Ramos-Remus: None declared, P. Chalem Consultant for: Abbvie, J. Molina Grant/research support from: Abbvie, J. Duhau Grant/research support from: Abbvie, A. Perez-Gilbe Employee of: Abbvie, E. Carnide Employee of: Abbvie