June/July 2013 (vol. 10/1)

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Research Plus

Work participation with arthritis

Seven key concepts are important to the work participation of patients with inflammatory arthritis, this systematic review of qualitative evidence finds (10 included studies; low to high methodological quality). The seven themes are: disease symptoms (eg fatigue, pain, physical limitations); management of the disease (eg access to treatment, coping); socioeconomic issues (such as job insecurity, financial concerns, social support); work conditions and adaptations (eg help from employer, psychological support, work flexibility); emotional challenges (self confidence, managing fear etc); interpersonal issues affecting work and family life (including support from colleagues, supervisors, families, lack of communication, work–life balance); and meaning of work (eg motivation, importance of work/identity, work as rehabilitation). Different challenges affect individual patients and put a strain on their ability to cope with work. Patients need ways of managing these challenges, including early professional involvement and advice.


Rheumatology 2013; online first: doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/ket111


Occupational Health at Work June/July 2013 (vol. 10/1) pp41