Supporting employees dealing with chronic diseases: Emerging issues among workers with arthritis

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Dr. Monique Gignac
Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto

Individuals with chronic physically disabling illnesses experience a number of challenges when working.This plenary discusses three separate studies of individuals with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis, and highlights the episodic nature of many chronic conditions like arthritis, the work-health balance and perceived “job lock” (that is, being trapped in a job because of one’s health).Those reporting "job lock" were more likely to report absenteeism related to their disease, job disruptions and lower productivity. These findings are discussed, along with the need for workplace interventions to target work-related and psychosocial issues that could facilitate or undermine employment.