Impact of Endometriosis on Work Life in Finnish WomenBy: Özge Özkaya - Sep 30, 2021
Endometriosis is associated with poor work ability but not lower employment rate and early retirement.
- Endometriosis is associated with poorer "work ability", but patients’ employment rate and risk of early retirement are not different from other women.
- Healthcare practitioners should be encouraged to recognize the relevance of timely care for endometriosis patients to promote their "work ability".
What's done here:
- Researchers conducted a population-based study to assess the impact of endometriosis on women’s "work ability", employment rate, and early retirement.
- "Work Ability Index Score" at age 46, from Care Register for Healthcare in Finland (endometriosis, n=348) (women without endometriosis n=3,487) was compared.
- The unemployment and disability days, and each woman’s first-ever granted pension decision until age 52 were also collected.
- Endometriosis was associated with poor "work ability" at age 46.
- The association between endometriosis and over 10 days of absenteeism is higher.
- Women with endometriosis have 10 days more disability days but 20 days fewer unemployment days than other women between ages 46 to 48.
- There is no difference in early retirement between women with endometriosis and women without the disease.
- Endometriosis diagnosis is not surgically confirmed.
- The study did not consider factors related to endometriosis such as infertility- or family-related absences and burdens affecting work life.
- The results may not be applicable to other countries or cultures outside of Finland.
Endometriosis is associated with poor "work ability" at late fertile age, according to a Finnish study published in the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. Although women with endometriosis have more disability days, their employment rate and risk of early retirement are similar to those without the disease at late fertile age, the study found.
Based on these findings, the authors encourage healthcare practitioners to recognize the relevance of organizing timely care for endometriosis patients to promote their "work ability".
“Notwithstanding impaired "work ability" and the need for sick leave, it is encouraging that we found no major risks of unemployment or early disability retirement at a late fertile age,” the researchers wrote and added that providing this information to patients could help those who might worry about their employability over the years.
Many studies have shown that endometriosis may jeopardize a woman’s "work ability" due to the symptoms it causes such as pain, fatigue, and psychological problems. However, these were mainly survey-based case-control studies.
Here, a team of researchers from Finland led by Dr. Terhi T. Piltonen conducted a population-based study to evaluate how endometriosis is associated with self-rated work ability and sick leave dates, registered disability and unemployment days, and lifelong emergence of registered disability retirement.
Using the Care Register for Healthcare in Finland they identified 348 women with endometriosis and 3,487 women without. They then collected questionnaire data on Work Ability Index Score at age 46. They also determined the unemployment and disability days from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland and the Finnish Center for Pensions registers. Finally, they collected information about each woman’s first-ever granted pension decision and diagnoses until age 52.
Using statistical analyses, the researchers demonstrated that endometriosis was associated with poor "work ability" at age 46. Moreover, endometriosis increased the chance of over ten days of absenteeism. There were no differences in early retirement between women with endometriosis and those without endometriosis until age 52.
“If possible, job modifications such as part-time or remote work during the most distressing phases should be considered,” the researchers concluded. They added that careful recording of endometriosis in medical certificates could ensure resources are allocated appropriately to improve the diagnosis and care of women with the disease.
Research Source: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34235718/
work ability employment sick leave disability retirement