Preventing work disability among millennial young adults with rheumatic disease
Reasons for the study
Despite advances in clinical care, millennial young adults living with rheumatic disease continue to report trouble finding employment and staying productive at work. Previous research suggests that workplace policies and practices play an important role in overcoming these challenges, but because research focuses primarily on older adults, it is unclear if young adults who are just beginning their careers have the same needs or access to workplace support. This project examines the workplace support needs of young adults with rheumatic disease, describes the supports that are available and used within the workplace, and investigates whether unmet workplace support needs predict subsequent work disability.
Objectives of the study
- To conduct a longitudinal survey of 365-plus millennials with rheumatic disease
- To identify workplace supports needed by millennials with rheumatic disease, to what extent these supports are available and used, and whether those millennials with rheumatic disease who do not have their support needs met at work are more likely to indicate difficulties with employment
- To examine how the characteristics of millennials with rheumatic disease, including their health and work conditions, relate to unmet workplace support needs, and whether they affect the relationship between unmet workplace support needs and difficulties with employment
The results of this study will help employers, clinicians and policy-makers develop strategies that will assist millennials with rheumatic disease transition into the world of work and help them remain employed and productive.
Related research summaries
- Examining the link between job insecurity, work limitations and persistent symptoms among young adults with rheumatic disease. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, August 2022.
- Depression and work among adults with arthritis. Research Highlights: Institute for Work & Health, October 2020.
Related scientific publications
- Jetha A, Tucker L, Shahidi FV, Backman C, Kristman VL, Hazel EM, Perlin L, Proulx L, Chen C, Gignac MA. How does job insecurity and workplace activity limitations relate to rheumatic disease symptom trajectories in young adulthood? A longitudinal study. Arthritis Care & Research. 2023;75(1):14-21. doi:10.1002/acr.24982. (Open access)
- Jetha A, Tucker L, Backman C, Kristman VL, Bowring J, Hazel EM, Perlin L, Proulx L, Chen C, Gignac MA. Rheumatic disease disclosure at the early career phase and its impact on the relationship between workplace supports and presenteeism. Arthritis Care & Research. 2022;74(10):1751-1760. doi:10.1002/acr.24620. (Open access)
Related interviews and articles
- Education, type of work lessen pandemic job loss in youths with rheumatic diseases. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 104, Spring 2021.
- Depressive symptoms in people with arthritis linked to lower employment rates. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 102, Fall 2020.
Collaborators and partners
Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance
Cassie + Friends
Arthritis Society Operating Grant