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Inflammatory bowel diseases impair work life

04 Jul 2019
While 93% said they found the work rewarding, only 44% said they would continue to work without pay, even if they did not need the money.

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) impact work life, negatively affecting work productivity and career plans, a recent study has found.

Researchers administered a 68-question online survey to 1,410 IBD patients (mean age, 38±10.1 years; 76 percent female) who had worked or were currently working. The information collected consisted of sociodemographic factors, clinical and disease data, and former and current professional status, including optimism and satisfaction with work. Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire scores over the past 7 days were calculated.

Majority of the participants (80 percent; n=1,126) were actively employed, most of whom (82 percent; n=921) were with permanent contracts. However, there was also a sizable proportion who were on temporary contracts, which was comparable to that in the general French population (12 percent for both).

Thirty-nine percent of the participants reported that their condition resulted in changes in the course of their career. Of these, 25 percent perceived limited career choices, 15 percent considered IBD to be a barrier to finding a job, and 11 percent reported being dismissed because of the disease.

Almost half (45 percent) of the participants said that IBD restricted their career choices, and a similar percentage (49 percent) noted that their career took a back seat to their condition.

While majority (59 percent) of the participants reported being optimistic about their careers, this was still lower than their general-population comparators (66 percent). Despite this, 76 percent of the IBD patients reported being generally satisfied with their work, which was comparable to the 74 percent in the general population.

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