Background: Work disability (WD) and presenteeism (decreased at-work productivity) are often caused by arthritis, leading to major impact on individuals’ quality of life and cost to society.
Objectives: Our study objective was to identify the determinants of presenteeism in workers with inflammatory arthritis.
Methods: Baseline data from the randomized controlled trial of an employment intervention, the Making-it-WorkTMprogram, were used. Participants were recruited from British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. Inclusion criteria: diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis, currently employed, age 18-59, and having concerns about arthritis affecting ability to work. The primary outcome, presenteism, was assessed using the% impaired while at work subscale of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scale for Specific Health Problem (WPAI-SHP). First, the association between potential explanatory variables and WPAI was assessed in bivariate analyses. Variables evaluated included: 1) sociodemographic variables: age, gender, ethnicity, marital status, education, children under age 19; 2) disease variables: IA diagnosis, disease duration, number of limiting comorbidities, global assessment of disease activity (VAS), joint pain (VAS), Disease activity [Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease Activity Index (RADAI)], physical function (HAQ II), Fatigue [VAS, Global Fatigue Index from the Multidimensional Assesment of Fatigue (MAF)], Sleep quality [Insomnia Severity Index (ISI), Depression (Patient Health Questionnaire – PHQ-9); 3) work variables: physical demand, job autonomy, difficulty commuting to/from work, job spillover, job strain, psycho-social work characteristics [Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ) decision latitude, physical and psychological job demands, social support at work], self-employment, family support of decision to work, importance of working. Variables correlated with WPAI-SHP at p ≤ 0.20 were selected for inclusion in the multivariable linear regression analysis, using stepwise selection with alpha of 0.15.
Results: The sample included 565 participants [49% with RA, 17% PsA, 14% SLE, 20% AS] with median (IQR) arthritis duration of 7(3-15) years; mean (SD) age 45.6 (10) years; 43% were 50 years or older; 78% were females; 76% had completed post secondary education; 17% were self-employed. Multivariable linear regression analyses revealed that age < 30 (vs.age 30-49, p=0.067; vs. age ≥ 50, p=0.266), having more fatigue (GFI-MAF) (p<0.001), job strain (p=0.011), job spill over (p=0.002), disease activity (RADAI) (p<0.001), poor family support for working (p=0.049), poor physical function (HAQ II) (p=0.077) and commuting difficulty (p=0.081) were associated with greater impairment in work productivity.
Conclusion: This study identified important sociodemographic, disease and work-related factors associated with reduced productivity at work in people with inflammatotry arthritis. These results provide useful information to health professionals counselling patients on dealing with employment issues.
References  Carruthers, et al.
 “Employment and arthritis: making it work” a randomized controlled trial evaluating an online program to help people with inflammatory arthritis maintain employment (study protocol). BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2014 14:59
Disclosure of Interests: André Luquini: None declared, Diane Lacaille Grant/research support from: Bristol-Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly Canada, Eric C. Sayre: None declared, Rebecca Schnurr-Howsam: None declared
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.