Purpose Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are often impaired in their ability to be employed due to IBD symptoms. The aim of this study was to explore work-related problems and support requested by IBD patients and develop rehabilitation programs meeting their needs. Methods A total of 235 IBD patients (97 rehabilitants, 138 outpatients) completed a questionnaire assessing disease-specific impairments, work-related concerns and the need for support services. Subjective work disability was determined with the SPE scale. Results Participants were on average 46 years old, 60% were women, 45% suffered from Crohn's disease and 67% worked full-Time; 72% (n=170) had a negative subjective prognosis of gainful employment. Participants reported an average of 12 disease-specific and 22 work-related problems. About 50% of the participants reported disease-specific problems, namely fatigue (66%), weakness (55%) and urge to pass stool (55%). The three most common work-related problems affecting more than 50% of the respondents almost every day were reduced work ability (56%), worrying about not being fully efficient (55%) and stress at work (53%). Support services requested were counselling for information on the disease (91%), treatment options (88%), social law benefits (85%) and exercises to increase physical fitness (84%). Conclusion The wide range of work-related physical and psychosocial impairments affecting IBD patients reveals a need to extend current rehabilitation services, with a stronger occupational focus and to implement a standardized screening for work-related problems. Disease-specific support services can be developed and addressed in a multimodal and interdisciplinary setting such as the rehabilitation sector.
|Translated title of the contribution||Inflammatory Bowel Disease-Challenges in the Workplace and Support for Coping with Disease|
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 01.04.2022|
Research Areas and Centers
- Research Area: Center for Population Medicine and Public Health (ZBV)