Employment and health status changes among women with fibromyalgia: A five-year study – Arthritis – Source: Arthritis Care & Research, Dec 2008

Objective: To assess changes in health status of women with fibromyalgia (FM) over 5 years and determine whether baseline employment status influences health outcomes adjusting for other baseline factors.

Methods: Two hundred eighty-seven women with FM were recruited from a national sample of rheumatologists and interviewed by phone at baseline and annually for 4 years. Data were collected on pain, fatigue, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (M-HAQ) scores, demographic characteristics, and employment status. At the end of the study, 211 participants remained. Data were analyzed using multilevel modeling techniques. Bootstrap methods adjusted for the cluster sampling.

Results:
The participants’ mean ± SD age was 47 ± 11 years, their mean ± SD education level was 14 ± 2 years, 90% were white, 50% employed, 64% married, and their median household income was $50,000 or more.

Mean ± SD scores at baseline were 57.2 ± 24 for pain, 75.4 ± 22 for fatigue, 22.9 ± 13 for depression, and 0.73 ± 0.5 for the M-HAQ.

Multilevel modeling indicated that all health status measures declined significantly over time except for pain.

Rates of change varied from -1.22 for fatigue to -0.03 for the M-HAQ. Except for pain, patients who were employed at baseline had better health status over time.

The employment and time interaction was not significant, indicating that health status changed at the same rate regardless of employment status. Other significant factors were age and income.

Conclusion: Employed women with FM have better health status at baseline [except for pain] and maintain that advantage over time. Employment does not seem to provide a protective health benefit.

Source: Arthritis Care & Research, Dec 2008; 59(12)pp1736-1741. PMID: 19035427, by Reisine S, Fifield J, Walsh S, Forrest DD, University of Connecticut, Farmington [E-mail: reisine@nso1.uchc.edu]

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One thought on “Employment and health status changes among women with fibromyalgia: A five-year study – Arthritis – Source: Arthritis Care & Research, Dec 2008”

  1. TrudyBird says:

    Keeping busy. That is one of the secrets that takes my mind off my pain and discomfort. In my job, I must remain focused and alert. When I’m home, I tend to focus more on my discomfort, especially if I’m home alone. At work I get outside and walk 2 miles every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a walking partner. I stretch first so that my muscles don’t go into spasm. (I always learn the hard way! *smile*)My walking partner is much younger than I am and her energy level is through the ceiling! By having her as a walking partner she is very motivational and even when I don’t feel like walking she brings me out of my protective shell and after I do walk I feel like I’ve accomplished a huge feat and I feel so much better mentally and physically. I don’t think I’d be doing this if I wasn’t working outside my home. At home I’m not as strict with a routine of exercise, but I sometimes do simply yoga stretches that really help my shoulders and hips. My cats lay next to me and help of course! Low impact exercise, keeping busy mentally and hooking up with a walking partner truly helps me and my mental outlook. Sure I have brain-fog, but if I get enough sleep it really helps that as well. Sleeping well is an issue, I know… but I keep trying by going to bed earlier, leaving the caffine alone and not eating anything too close to bedtime. I also try to keep a positive attitude which isn’t always easy when you hurt… but by golly, I try. Best regards to all with this crummy condition. Hany in there and don’t give up!

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