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Common prognostic factors of work disability among employees with a chronic somatic disease: a systematic review of cohort studies

Sarah I Detaille, Yvonne F Heerkens, Josephine A Engels, Joost WJ van der Gulden and Frank JH van Dijk
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Vol. 35, No. 4 (July 2009), pp. 261-281
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40967786
Page Count: 21
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Common prognostic factors of work disability among employees with a chronic somatic disease: a systematic review of cohort studies
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Abstract

Objective Based on prospective and retrospective disease cohort studies, the aim of this review was to determine common prognostic factors for work disability among employees with rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, and ischemie heart disease (IHD). Methods A systematic literature search in Mediine (1990-2008) and Embase (1990-2008) was carried out to identify relevant cohort studies using a well-defined list of inclusion and quality criteria. Results We identified 43 relevant cohort studies with sufficient methodological quality (20 for rheumatoid arthritis, 3 for asthma and 20 for IHD). The common prognostic factors for work disability found in all the diseases were: perceived health complaints, limitation in daily physical activities caused by the disease (high versus low), heavy manual work, and female gender. The common positive prognostic factors for rheumatoid arthritis and IHD were age (high versus low) and sickness absence. The common negative factors for rheumatoid arthritis and IHD were education (high versus low) and ethnic origin (white versus non-white). Conclusions As many prognostic factors for work disability are similar for employees with various chronic diseases, it is possible to detect high risk groups. This information supports the development and implementation of a general disability management intervention for employees suffering from a chronic disease to overcome health-related limitations at work.

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