Background: The aim was to establish how patients experience the impact of spondyloarthritis (SpA) on work disability and working life. Methods: The survey was performed in 17/20 regions in Italy (1 January to 31 March 2013). A multiple-choice questionnaire was published on the official website of the sponsor - the National Association of Rheumatic Patients (ANMAR) - and hard-copies were distributed at outpatient clinics for rheumatic patients. Results: Respondents (n = 770) were of both sexes (56 % men), educated (62 % at high school or more), of working age (75 % aged ≤60 years), and affected by SpA. The most common types diagnosed were ankylosing spondylitis (AS) (39 %) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) (36 %). Respondents were working full-time (45 %), part-time (8 %) or had retired (22 %); 15 % were unemployed (for reasons linked to the disease or for other reasons, students or housewives). Patients reported disability (39 %), were receiving disability benefits (34 %), were experiencing important limitations that were hindering their professional development/career (36 %) and some had to change/leave their job or lost it because of SpA (21 %). Employed respondents (n = 383) had worked on average 32.2 h in the last 7 days. More hours of work were lost over the last 7 days due to SpA (2.39 h vs 1.67 h). The indirect costs of the disease amounted to €106/week for patients reporting well-being/good physical conditions/improvement and €216/week for those reporting permanent impairment. Conclusions: Most patients were in the midst of their productive years and were experiencing considerable difficulties in carrying out their job because of the disease: half of them reported disability and one third were experiencing important limitations in their career perspective.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy