Professor MGH Institute of Health Professions Boston, Massachusetts
Research Objectives: To describe workplace barriers reported on the Work Experience Survey for Rheumatic Conditions (WES-RC), an intervention tool used in the recent Work It clinical trial.
Design: This is a descriptive study using data from the intervention arm of the Work It RCT, which examined an intervention delivered by occupational and physical therapists to people with arthritis.
Setting: General community
Participants: Employed individuals with self-reported arthritis or rheumatological conditions, working at least part-time, and who lived/worked in Massachusetts.
Main Outcome Measures: Descriptive statistics of the WES-RC domains were computed including: include getting ready for work, workplace access, physical job demands, mental job demands, time/energy and emotional job demands, relationships with people at work, working conditions, and company policies, and job/career/home life.
Results: The mean age for the study sample (N=143) was 50.3. 73% female, 66% white, 68% single, and 59% had a college degree. Osteoarthritis was the most reported condition (43%). Doing stairs at home and lifting/carrying were the top barriers in getting ready to work reported by 44% and %43 of participants, respectively. Stairs and walking to work were the top barriers for workplace access, reported by 40%, and 28% of participants, respectively. Sitting for prolonged periods of time (physical job demands), reported by 55% of participants, remembering (mental job demands) reported by 30% of participants. Feeling self-conscious about a health condition was reported by 37% of participants. Cold temperature and air conditioning were the top barriers in working conditions/company policy reported by 43% of the participants. Getting household work and/ or shopping done, and consideration of what work options if needed or wanted to change jobs were the top barriers in job/career/home life, reported by 34% and 29% of the participants respectively.
Conclusions: The WES-RC identifies many problematic areas that fall within the expertise of occupational and physical therapy. With an RCT supporting the use of this tool, this could be useful to clinicians during practice to identify areas of need for patients.
Author(s) Disclosures: We have no disclosures to declare
Introduce participants to the Work Experience Survey for Rheumatic Conditions
Identify the most reported barriers in supporting work participation for people with arthritis and rheumatological conditions
Identify the most reported solutions for areas supporting work participation for people with arthritis and rheumatological conditions