Perceived challenges at work and need for professional support among people with inflammatory arthritis - a qualitative interview study

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Abstrakt

Background: People with inflammatory arthritis (IA) often experience low work ability, and up to 38% lose their jobs during the initial years after the diagnosis of IA.

Aim: We explore the perceived challenges at work and identify the need for professional support among Danish people with IA.

Materials/methods: Individual explorative interviews based on a hermeneutic approach. We used Graneheim and Lundman’s qualitative content analysis.

Results: Eleven women and four men with IA (aged 36–68 years) who worked full or part time, or were on short-term sick leave, participated. The analysis revealed one main theme, Balancing work as part of everyday life, and four sub-themes: 1) Working despite challenges, 2) Prioritising energy for work, 3) Fatigue leading to lack of control, and 4) Need for flexibility and recognition.

Conclusions: People with IA prioritise staying at work despite experiencing challenges with fatigue and balancing their work and energy in everyday life. They need recognition, support and flexibility at work to be able to continue in their jobs.

Significance: The study highlights the need to be aware of occupational balance and, thus, to include other aspects in life apart from just work. It points at occupational therapists as relevant partners in vocational rehabilitation.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
ISSN1103-8128
DOI
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 13. okt. 2021

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