Prevention of Arthritis-Related Work Disability

2014-08-27 04:00:10 | BioPortfolio


People with rheumatic disorders (arthritis) often have trouble keeping their jobs. This study will look at whether vocational rehabilitation (VR) will improve the ability of employed people with arthritis to keep their jobs. Job retention VR services target key factors that increase the risk of job loss. They aim to modify jobs to reduce barriers caused by functional limitations and disease symptoms, future career planning, and establish a partnership with a VR counselor for ongoing help.

We will conduct the study among patients with rheumatic disorders recruited in eastern Massachusetts. We will give 120 study participants job retention services provided by VR counselors. We will give another 120 participants literature about employment- related resources. We will compare the outcomes of the two groups to evaluate the usefulness of job retention services in preventing job loss in people with rheumatic disorders.


Job loss commonly occurs among people with rheumatic disorders. This study will determine whether vocational rehabilitation (VR) provided to employed people with rheumatic disorders will improve their ability to remain employed. VR is applied primarily to people who have already lost their jobs. However, using job retention VR services may prevent, or delay, the onset of employment work loss among people with rheumatic disorders. Job retention VR services target important employment-loss risk factors. They do so by modifying jobs to reduce barriers posed by functional limitations and symptoms, promoting future career planning, and establishing an alliance with a VR counselor for ongoing assistance.

The study is a randomized, controlled trial conducted among patients with rheumatic disorders recruited from the practices of rheumatologists in eastern Massachusetts.

We will randomly assign 120 study participants to receive job-retention services provided by VR counselors and 120 participants (controls) to receive literature about employment-related resources. We will assess intermediate outcome variables (self-efficacy, work limitations, and job accommodation-seeking behaviors) and the endpoint outcome variable, work instability (a measure that includes employment loss), immediately prior to the interventions and at 6-month intervals over a 24-month period after the interventions are carried out. We will compare the outcomes of the two groups to evaluate the usefulness of job retention services in forestalling work instability in this population.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Rheumatoid Arthritis


Job retention vocational rehabilitation services


Boston University School of Medicine
United States




National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T04:00:10-0400

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