Work productivity in rheumatoid arthritis: relationship with clinical and radiological features

Arthritis. 2012:2012:137635. doi: 10.1155/2012/137635. Epub 2012 Dec 19.


Objective. To assess the relationship between work productivity with disease activity, functional capacity, life quality and radiological damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods. The study included consecutive employed patients with RA (ACR'87), aged over 18. Demographic, disease-related, and work-related variables were determined. The reduction of work productivity was assessed by WPAI-RA. Results. 90 patients were evaluated, 71% women. Age average is 50 years old, DAS28 4, and RAQoL 12. Median SENS is 18 and HAQ-A 0.87. Mean absenteeism was of 14%, presenting an average of 6.30 work hours wasted weekly. The reduction in performance at work or assistance was of 38.4% and the waste of productivity was of 45%. Assistance correlated with DAS28 (r = 0.446; P < 0.001), HAQ-A (r = 0.545; P < 0.001) and RAQoL (r = 0.475; P < 0.001). Lower total productivity was noticed in higher levels of activity and functional disability. Patients with SENS > 18 showed lower work productivity than those with SENS < 18 (50 versus 34; P = 0.04). In multiple regression analysis, variables associated with reduction of total work productivity were HAQ-A and RAQoL. Conclusion. RA patients with higher disease severity showed higher work productivity compromise.