Work disability among people with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Julie H. Barlow, C.C. Wright, B. Williams, A. Keat

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    Abstract

    Objective
    To investigate work disability among people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in terms of correlates and coping mechanisms.

    Methods
    The sample group (n = 133) was recruited through 2 sources: 1) consecutive patients attending outpatient clinics over a 6-month period, and 2) a random sample of members of the National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society. We used a cross-sectional survey with data collected by self-administered questionnaires and telephone interviews with a randomly selected subsample (n = 6).

    Results
    The majority of participants were men. The mean age was 49 years; the mean disease duration was 28 years. Thirty-one percent were unable to work because of AS, with an additional 15% reporting changes to their working lives attributable to AS (e.g., reduction in hours worked, change of job). Compared with being in full-time work, work disability was associated with being older, longer disease duration, lower educational standard, comorbidity, greater physical impairment, pain, fatigue, stiffness, anxious and depressed mood, and lower self-esteem. Descriptive data added further insight into the experience of work disability and coping with AS in a work environment.

    Conclusion
    Work disability is worthy of further investigation to determine exact prevalence rates and psychosocial implications. Work disability could be addressed with simple interventions or adaptations in the workplace.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)424-429
    JournalArthritis Care and Research
    Volume45
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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    Keywords

    • ankylosing spondylitis
    • arthritis
    • disability
    • employment
    • workplace

    Cite this

    Barlow, J. H., Wright, C. C., Williams, B., & Keat, A. (2001). Work disability among people with Ankylosing Spondylitis. Arthritis Care and Research, 45(5), 424-429.