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A systematic review of work interventions for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Prior, Yeliz; Hammond, Alison



Introduction: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is most common cause of sickness absence in the United Kingdom (UK) (Black, 2008). Only 20% of people with RA consider they receive enough support with retaining employment (National Audit Office, 2009). This study aimed to investigate and evaluate available evidence on work rehabilitation for those with RA in the UK. Method: A systematic search of journal articles using major databases such as Amed, CINAHL, Medline, PsychINFO, OTseeker and the Cochrane Library (1970-2012) were conducted to seek evidence from interventional studies of work rehabilitation in people with RA in the UK. Search terms included: rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, vocational rehabilitation, productivity, occupational therapy. The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) appraisal tool was used to critique the methodological quality. Results: The systematic search yielded 3866 articles. Of these, 3821 articles were irrelevant titles. The remaining 38 abstracts were read by two researchers, and four articles extracted for a full review. Further three articles were excluded as there were observational studies. Only one interventional study met the inclusion criteria. Its methodological quality was rated as medium to high and showed that timely, comprehensive occupational therapy and work interventions are effective (Macedo et al., 2009). Conclusion: Despite the evidence supporting that work rehabilitation is beneficial for people with RA, available evidence in the UK is mostly provided by observational studies. There is a need for more interventional studies to evaluate the effectiveness of work rehabilitation provided by OTs for those with RA in the UK. References: Black, C. (2008). Working for a healthier tomorrow: review of the health of Britain’s working age population. The Stationary Office. Macedo et al. (2009). Functional and work outcomes improve in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who receive targeted, comprehensive occupational therapy. Arthritis Rheum. Nov 15;61(11):1522-30. National Audit Office (2009). Services for people with rheumatoid arthritis. London: The Stationary Office.


Prior, Y., & Hammond, A. (2013). A systematic review of work interventions for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76(Supp 1), 125-126

Journal Article Type Meeting Abstract
Publication Date 2013-01
Deposit Date Aug 2, 2023
Journal British Journal of Occupational Therapy
Print ISSN 0308-0226
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 76
Issue Supp 1
Pages 125-126
Publisher URL