Management of work disability in rheumatic conditions: A review of non-pharmacological interventions

Authors: Glavare, M., Lofgren, M., & Schult, M. L.
Year Published 2012
Publication Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology
Volume 26
Pages 369-386
Publisher Elsevier, Ltd.

A review of non-pharmacological employment interventions for people with rheumatic diseases focusing on the comprehensiveness of interventions, whether they have been targeted to those groups identified as most at risk, and intervention outcomes and effectiveness.


The purpose of this study is to determine what types of interventions or what components within an intervention are most useful and when an intervention should be delivered to maximize success.


This study is a systematic review. The included studies were undertaken in various locations and settings.


A total of 20 studies evaluating 15 interventions for individuals with rheumatic disease were reviewed.

Data Collection

Data collection and analysis include RCT and pre-test post-test evaluation.


There were no comparison or control conditions.


Rheumatic diseases can have a significant impact on employment. Managing this impact is often stressful for patients. Early diagnosis and treatment of rheumatic diseases may not keep people at work, working or enable return to work. Emerging evidence suggests that comprehensive work interventions can have positive psychological effects, as well as result in increased work participation.


More high-quality studies need to be conducted on non-pharmacological interventions given the personal, social and environmental needs of people working with rheumatic diseases. Research needs to address the optimum time to intervene. Consistent inclusion of behavioral and psychological outcomes such as absenteeism, return to work, support, work stress and job satisfaction would enable comparison across intervention studies.

Populations Male & Female
Outcomes Employment acquisition | Return to work
Research Design Systematic reviews and meta-analysis
Peer Reviewed Yes