Objective. To explore the effect of early spondyloarthritis (SpA) on worker participation and to investigate variables associated with work outcomes as well as the effect on resource use.
Methods. Patients included in an early SpA cohort completed a questionnaire comprising items on employment status, sick leave, presenteeism, and resource use. Logistic regressions were used to investigate the associations between work status and clinical characteristics, and linear regressions were used to investigate the association between at-work productivity loss and clinical characteristics. Resource use across patient groups with different employment status was investigated with linear regression analyses.
Results. One hundred forty patients participated in our study. Of the patients, 69% were male, the mean age was 41 years, and the disease duration was 4.8 years. Twenty-six patients (19%) were not employed because of SpA. Among 114 employed patients, sick leave was reported in 28% in the previous year. Forty-one percent of the patients reported reduced productivity at work. Multivariable regression analyses showed that high Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrology Index and Ankylosing Spondylitis Quality of Life score were associated with not being employed and with reduced productivity at work. Annual costs of productivity loss attributable to sick leave and presenteeism amounted to (sic)2000 per patient. Patients who reported sick leave show a higher (health-related) resource use.
Conclusion. After only 5 years of diagnosis, a considerable proportion of patients with SpA is not employed, and those working have substantial sick leave and productivity loss. Among patients reporting sick leave, resource use is higher. Alertness to work participation even in patients with a short disease duration is urgently needed.
- WORK PARTICIPATION
- RESOURCE USE
- HEALTH SURVEY