Work participation and health in rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases: insights from longitudinal studies

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

122 Downloads (Pure)


Rheumatic and other chronic musculoskeletal diseases are common in the working population and can lead to reduced work productivity, sick leave, work disability and high social costs. Cardiovascular diseases occur more often in rheumatic inflammatory diseases. This dissertation shows that cardiovascular diseases occur more often in workers with these disorders, but do not lead to increased mortality, absenteeism or occupational disability compared to healthy workers. Early interventions to prevent the adverse impact of disease on long-term work participation are important. First, it is shown that treatment with innovative drugs ('biologicals') improves work participation in people with 'axial spondyloarthritis'. Next, it is shown that future long-term sickness absence in a working population can be accurately predicted by means of a prediction model, in which various risk factors are combined into a risk score. Finally, it is shown that 'work ability' seems to be a better measuring instrument than 'work productivity' when measuring 'presenteeism' (presence at work despite health problems).
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Boonen, Annelies, Supervisor
  • Dinant, Geert, Supervisor
  • Ottenheijm, Ramon, Co-Supervisor
Award date1 Sep 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464164992
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • rheumatology
  • labour
  • health
  • participation
  • cardiovascular diseases
  • epidemiology

Cite this