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Active disease, reduced physical function negatively influence work productivity in axSpA patients

13 Nov 2019

Among patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) in Singapore, work productivity is lower in the presence of active disease, reduced physical function and poorer quality of life, as reported in a Singapore study.

The cross-sectional study included 156 axSpA patients (median age, 36.7 years; 80.1 percent male; 86.5 percent Chinese). Median duration of illness was 6.3 years, and most of the patients (72.4 percent) were employed.

Researchers assessed work productivity using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scale (WPAI:SpA) and found that the mean activity impairment was 28.2 percent. Among employed patients, mean absenteeism was 4.5 percent, mean presenteeism was 24.9 percent, and mean work productivity loss was 27.6 percent.

On multivariable regression analysis, absenteeism showed an association with disease duration (p=0.02) and EuroQol‐5D (EQ‐5D; p=0.04). Presenteeism correlated with Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) ≥4 (p=0.04), Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) (p<0.01) and EQ‐5D (p=0.02).

Meanwhile, work productivity loss was associated with BASFI (p=0.02) and EQ‐5D (p<0.01), whereas activity impairment correlated with age (p=0.04), BASDAI ≥4 (p<0.01), BASFI (p<0.01) and EQ‐5D (p<0.01).

In light of the present data, the researchers pointed out that controlling disease activity and restoring physical function may play a role in improving work productivity. Disease education and counselling could be delivered via personalized web‐based resources to reduce absenteeism during the initial diagnosis of axSpA.

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