As children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis grow into adulthood, disability due to disease may adversely affect their ability to achieve educational success, which could impact their access to successful employment in adulthood, according to a recently published study.
The findings were published in Arthritis & Rheumatism.
“Despite effective treatment early on, some [juvenile idiopathic arthritis] JIA patients enter adulthood with joint damage, disability and lowered quality of life,” study author Ajay Malviya, MS, MSc, FRCS (Tr & Orth), stated in a news release. “There are significantly higher rates of unemployment in adult JIA patients compared to healthy counterparts, which remains poorly understood.”
The authors performed a cross-sectional study of 103 consecutive adults with a mean age of 24 years and mean disease duration of 19 years who attended a JIA continuity clinic. According to the study abstract, the patients filled out questionnaires relating to educational achievement, employment status, functional disability with the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) and Work Instability Score for those currently employed.
According to the study results, patients who were employed had significantly lower mean HAQ scores than those who were unemployed. The authors also found job stability was positively influenced by educational achievement and negatively influenced by disability score.
“Our study shows the impact of JIA on various employment outcomes,” Malviya stated in the release. “Further research that helps patients to determine ideal career choices and take into account their disease activity is warranted.”
Malviya A, Rushton SP, Foster HE, et al. Exploring the relationships between adult juvenile idiopathic arthritis and employment. Arthritis Rheum. 2012. doi: 10.1002/art.34499