Type of job, personal factors, and disease status are important contextual factors when measuring worker productivity in people with arthritis: a Delphi study

Reuben Escorpizo*, Emily Burghardt, Christine Richards, Dorcas Beaton, Annelies Boonen, Diane Lacaille, Suzanne Verstappen, OMERACT Worker Productivity Special Interest Group

*Corresponding author for this work

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Purpose: Arthritis is associated with lost wages, work disability, and decreased productivity. There is a lack of knowledge regarding contextual factors that influence worker productivity to inform rehabilitation. Our study aims to identify the essential contextual factors that need to be considered when measuring worker productivity outcomes in people with arthritis. Materials and methods: A three-round international Delphi survey was performed. Round 1 (N = 50) elicited a comprehensive list of contextual factors. In Round 2 (N = 27), participants ranked their top ten factors from the list in Round 1. In Round 3 (N = 27), participants ranked their top five factors and their suggested outcome measures. Results: The key contextual factors identified in the Delphi are (1) type of job (e.g., level of physical demand, manual vs. sedentary), (2) personal factors (e.g., attitude, self-esteem, personal satisfaction, motivation), (3) disease state, (4) financial need, (5) societal incentive (e.g., insurance, government support, return to work transition programs), and (6) age. Conclusion: Future clinical trials in arthritis measuring worker productivity should consider the type of job (physical demands), personal factors, and disease state (as related to physical function). Contextual factors are not well investigated in the area but are crucial to developing the appropriate rehabilitation interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3496-3503
Number of pages8
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number24
Early online date15 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Nov 2020


  • Presenteeism
  • worker productivity
  • disability evaluation
  • employment
  • work rehabilitation
  • Delphi

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