Rheumatic disease disclosure at the early career phase and its impact on the relationship between workplace supports and presenteeism

Publication type
Journal article
Jetha A, Tucker L, Backman C, Kristman VL, Bowring J, Hazel EM, Perlin L, Proulx L, Chen C, Gignac MA
Date published
2022 Jan 01
Arthritis Care & Research
Open Access?

BACKGROUND: Young adults with rheumatic disease face challenges communicating health needs, accessing workplace support and sustaining productivity. We examine whether disclosure modifies the relationship between workplace support and presenteeism. METHODS: An online survey was administered to Canadian young adults with rheumatic disease and asked about presenteeism (0=health had no effect on work; 10=health completely prevented working), workplace support need, availability and use and whether health details were disclosed to an immediate supervisor. A multivariable robust linear regression model was conducted and stratified by those who did and did not disclose the details of their health to their supervisor. RESULTS: 306 participants completed the survey with a mean presenteeism score of 4.9 (SD = 2.3). Over 70% disclosed health details to their supervisor; those who disclosed reported greater presenteeism (mean=5.2; SD=2.5) when compared to those who did not disclose (mean=4.2; SD=2.61). Greater disease severity was associated with disclosure. Half of participants reported unmet workplace support needs (53%), 32% reported that their workplace support needs were met and 15% reported exceeded workplace support needs. The relationship between presenteeism and workplace support needs were modified by disclosure. For participants who disclosed, unmet (ß= 1.59, 95% CI 0.75, 2.43) and met workplace support needs (ß= 1.25, 95% CI 0.39, 2.11) were associated with greater presenteeism when compared to those with exceeded workplace support needs. CONCLUSION: To address presenteeism, strategies should be developed for young adults with rheumatic disease to foster access to available workplace supports and navigate disclosure decisions