Working with Arthritis

Osteoarthritis patients stay productive in the workplace

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Many people with arthritis report having some workplace difficulties.

A recent study shows that these difficulties do not necessarily make arthritis patients less productive on the job.

Researchers found that three quarters of osteoarthritis patients experienced occasional workplace difficulties, rather than continuously having problems. 

"Most people with arthritis remain productive on the job."

For their study, Monique A.M. Gignac and colleagues interviewed nearly 500 employed people with osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis.

They assessed arthritis-related disability with job tasks, job accommodations (such as scheduling changes), workplace outcomes (such as missing work), illness, and work context.

The study's results show that these difficulties do not make people with arthritis less productive at work.

Arthritis sufferers stay productive until their difficulties become more frequent or consistent.

While the majority of patients reported occasional arthritis-related disability with job tasks, such difficulties were often fixed with a simple change to the workplace.

These findings will enable people with arthritis and their employers to develop strategies to keep productive, the study's authors conclude.

Hopefully, the add, these results will also show employers, insurers, and government that people with arthritis are neither a liability to the workplace nor a drain on human resources.

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Review Date: 
April 5, 2011
Last Updated:
April 7, 2011