Objective. First, to test the hypothesis that, among working patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), those who report issues with reduced productivity at work (presenteeism) are at higher risk of work absence (absenteeism), and patients who report absenteeism are at higher risk of subsequently leaving the workforce. Second, to identify characteristics of workers at high risk of poor work outcome. Methods. The British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register in Ankylosing Spondylitis has recruited patients meeting Assessment of Spondyloarthritis international Society criteria for axSpA from 83 centers. Data collection involved clinical and patient-reported measures at recruitment and annually thereafter, including the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scale. Generalized estimating equations were used to identify factors associated with poor work outcomes. Results. Of the 1188 participants in this analysis who were working at recruitment, 79% reported some presenteeism and 19% some absenteeism in the past week owing to their axSpA. Leaving employment was most strongly associated with previous absenteeism (RR 1.02 per % increase in absenteeism, 95% CI 1.01-1.03), which itself was most strongly associated with previous presenteeism, a labor-intensive job, and peripheral joint involvement. High disease activity, fatigue, a labor-intensive job, and poorer physical function were all independently associated with future presenteeism. Conclusion. Clinical and patient-reported factors along with aspects of work are associated with an increased risk of axSpA patients having a poor outcome in relation to work. This study has identified modifiable factors as targets, facilitating patients with axSpA to remain productive at work.
Macfarlane, G. J., Shim, J., Jones, G. T., Walker-Bone, K., Pathan, E., & Dean, L. E. (2019). Identifying persons with axial spondyloarthritis at risk of poor work outcome: Results from the british society for rheumatology biologics register. Journal of Rheumatology, 46(2), 145–152. https://doi.org/10.3899/jrheum.180477