Exploring the Impact of Fatigue on Work Ability of People with Rheumatic Disease

About a third of sick absences from work arise due to musculoskeletal conditions of which different forms of arthritis or rheumatic disease are among the most common. This study focused in on the influence of fatigue associated with these conditions on the ability to work. The research was conducted by the discipline of Occupational Therapy, Trinity College Dublin. The study included a survey of about 300 people, most of whom who were currently working, as well as semi-structured interviews and focus groups. Key findings were:

  • Fatigue is a pervasive symptom in employed individuals with rheumatic disease
  • Physical demands of work, and fitting in with work schedules were the two reported areas of greatest difficulty, and higher fatigue levels meant greater difficulties
  • A significant number of respondents had another concurrent condition
  • Younger workers tended to experience more difficulties related to fatigue
  • Employers tended to have little awareness of the fatigue issue

An article based on this research, Impact of Fatigue in Rheumatic Diseases in the Work Environment: A Qualitative Study,  is now available in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

Related Files: