Patients with rheumatological problems often experience problems at work and many patients have to stop working due to their rheumatological condition within the first couple of years after symptom onset. Remaining in work or being re-employed is important because it increases patient's self-esteem, self-rated health, self-satisfaction, physical health and relieve financial concerns. Work productivity includes both absenteeism and presenteeism. Absenteeism is defined as absence from work (i.e. reduced working hours, sick-leave, and permanent sick leave/work disability). Presenteeism refers to reduced productivity or performance due to a rheumatological condition while at work. Since work productivity is an important outcome for patients, questions about absenteeism and presenteeism should be addressed in clinic and in clinical studies including clinical trials (RCTs). Early intervention may reduce the likelihood of work productivity loss and possible permanent work loss. However, there are more than 26 instruments available to measure absenteeism and presenteeism. These measures range from simple global measures (e.g. a visual analogue scale (VAS) to multi-item measures. Differences between measures also relate to the construct (e.g. productivity, ability to work, interference with work, instability), recall period (e.g. one day, 7 days, one month), reference (e.g. prior disease onset, colleagues) and attribution (e.g. generic, rheumatological condition). As part of the OMERACT worker productivity initiative and an EULAR-PRO study, we have been investigating the meaningfulness of the different measures with an aim to recommend measures to be used in clinical practice, observational studies and RCTs.
This talk will give an overview in the interpretation of various worker productivity measures and the pros and cons of using these measures in clinical practice or in clinical studies.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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