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Striking a Balance between Arthritis, Work, and Home

The overall aim of this research is to identify ways to help people with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis to better manage their health and work demands and remain employed. Existing studies emphasize the negative impact of arthritis on employment. However, people with arthritis may also experience arthritis-work spillover. That is, not only did participants believe arthritis made employment difficult, they also reported work “spilled over” and had a detrimental impact on their health, making it difficult to take good care of their disease. Balancing health, work, and personal life was rated one of the most stressful aspects of arthritis.

Phase I of the study consists of qualitative research with focus groups, looking at the positive and negative aspects of the impact of employment on arthrtis and its management and care.

Phases II and III of the study consist of a quantitative, questionnaire based study examining potential differences in arthritis-work spillover related to illness, workplace factors, age, gender and support, with follow-up interviews after 18 months and 36 months.

The project is funded through a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Operating Grant and the Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN).

ACREU Investigators: Dr. Monique Gignac (PI), Dr. Elizabeth Badley

Research Co-ordinator: Jessi McAlpine

Related Reports & Publications

  • Gignac MA, Backman CL, Kaptein S, Lacaille D, Beaton DE, Hofstetter C et al. Tension at the borders: perceptions of role overload, conflict, strain and facilitation in work, family and health roles among employed individuals with arthritis. Rheumatology (Oxford) 2012; 51(2):324-332. [Pub Med ID 22039223]