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Arthritis and Employment

This research examines the long-term impact of chronic physical illness and disability on employment in adults with arthritis. Its aim is to help people with chronic conditions to better manage their health and work demands so as to remain employed. Arthritis and rheumatism are the leading cause of physical disability in Canada. Increases in the number of people with arthritis disability are expected among adults in their highest earning years (ages 45-65 years).

This proposal builds on previous ACREU research and examines factors associated with

  • stability and change in employment;
  • job stress as a critical component to understanding working with a chronic illness;
  • gender and age differences in coping and managing arthritis and work; and
  • innovative methods to examine the indirect costs of arthritis.

To meet these objectives, the researchers are re-interviewing nearly 400 people with arthritis who have been interviewed on the previous occasions, each 18 months apart. A structured questionnaire is being used to draw on research from arthritis, work disability and rehabilitation, stress, coping, and support. The results will provide information for people with arthritis, employers, and health professionals to better manage arthritis disability at work.

This project is funded through a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Operating Grant.

ACREU Investigators: Dr. Monique Gignac, Dr. Elizabeth Badley

Research Co-ordinator: Cristina Mattison