Bone and Joint Institute

Assessment of work limitations and disability in systemic vasculitis

Document Type


Publication Date



Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology

First Page


Last Page



© Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2016. Objective. Despite advances in the management of systemic vasculitis (SV), direct consequences of the disease, leading to impairments in physical and mental function can cause disability. The objective of this study was to assess work limitations in SV. Methods. SV patients were recruited from a tertiary care clinic. Work disabled (WD) was defined as not working, early retirement, or reduced hours at work. Participants who were working at the time of enrolment completed the Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ). Other work-related measures were self-reported by questionnaire. Disease outcome measures (Vasculitis Damage Index (VDI), Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ) and pain visual analogue score (VAS)) were obtained at time of WLQ. Results. 103 participants were enrolled with mean age 58 (SD17), 60% females, 48% with anti-neutrophilic cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis (AAV), 26% with large-vessel vasculitis (LVV) and 26% with other types of SV. 22 (21%) were WD secondary to SV, 29 (28%) were working and 52 (51%) subjects were not working for reasons other than SV. SV-related WD subjects were more likely to have a lower level of education (p=0.003) than non-WD subjects. The VDI was higher in SV-related WD vs. non-WD subjects: 1.9 (SD 2.7) vs. 2.9 (SD 1.4); p=0.015. 38 subjects were working in some capacity and completed the WLQ; their productivity loss was 8.2% and this was highly correlated with HAQ and pain VAS (rho=0.585 and rho=0.458, respectively). Conclusion. SV-related work disability occurred in 21% and was associated with lower levels of education, higher disease severity and worse functional outcomes.

Find in your library