The Influence of Rheumatoid Arthritis on Work Productivity among a Sample of Iraqi Patients

Abstract

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that impact daily life activities. The impact on work productivity is critical because of persistent work disability. Aim: To evaluate work productivity in RA patients compared to healthy controls, and to assess the impact of socio-demographic characteristics on work productivity. Methods: This was a case-control study conducted at the Rheumatology Unit of Baghdad Teaching Hospital, Medical City during the period from August 2020 to the end of March 2021. Seventy-two patients with RA were selected and compared with 72 healthy subjects as a control group. All patients were diagnosed according to ACR/EULAR 2010 RA classification criteria. The socio-demographic and clinical features, lifestyle practices, and disease activity of the patients and controls were all recorded during interviews. A standardized Arabic version of the Workplace Activity Limitation Scale (WALS) and the Job Limitations Questionnaire were used to assess the impact of RA on work productivity (WLQ-25). Results: The vast majority of patients were females (58.1%). Positive rheumatoid factor was reported in 94.4% of the patients. The patients showed a significantly lower WALS total score and higher WLQ-25 total score median (IQR) compared with controls. Conclusion: Active RA impairs the work productivity which was influenced by CDAI score and negatively associated with the use of DMARDs.