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Factors of Importance for Work Disability in Women with Fibromyalgia
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Health, Activity, Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2000 (English)In: Journal of Rheumatology, ISSN 0315-162X, Vol. 27, no 5, 1271-1276 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors of importance for women with fibromyalgia (FM) to continue working despite the limitations imposed by the symptoms.

METHODS: A mail questionnaire with questions regarding social background, symptoms, sickness benefits, work situation, work conditions and adjustments, opinions regarding own work ability, and satisfaction with the situation was sent to 218 consecutive women seen at a university pain or rheumatology clinic. Answers were obtained from 176 women.

RESULTS: Pain, poor quality sleep, abnormal tiredness, muscle stiffness, and increased pain after muscle exertion were frequently reported symptoms. Fifty percent of the women were employed, 15% full-time. Twenty-three percent reported FM as the reason for not working. The work situation had been changed for 58% of the working women, and 80% counted on being able to continue working.

CONCLUSION: Work disability is a serious concern in FM, and the majority of women with FM have limitations in their ability to work. Our results indicate that individual adjustments in the work situation need to be made and that women who have found a level matching their ability may continue to work and find it satisfactory. Early intervention in the work situation is recommended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2000. Vol. 27, no 5, 1271-1276 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13639OAI: diva2:21094
Available from: 2004-05-21 Created: 2004-05-21 Last updated: 2009-05-18
In thesis
1. Women with fibromyalgia: Employment and daily life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Women with fibromyalgia: Employment and daily life
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: The major symptoms of fibromyalgia have been shown to severely impact everyday activities. As a consequence, many women have problems remaining in a work role. Not being able to fulfil valued roles influences quality of life. Moreover, consequences in terms of high costs in compensation for reduced work ability are also of importance for society. Today, the number of young women diagnosed with fibromyalgia is increasing.

Objectives: The general aim of this thesis was to increase and deepen knowledge of the life situation of women with fibromyalgia; to examine how to manage a work role when in constant pain, and especially the situation for newly-diagnosed women.

Subjects and Methods: 278 women with longstanding pain were included. The thesis includes five different studies, two of them with a focus on the work situation, two with focus on young, newly-diagnosed women’s life situation, and one investigating time-use and activity patterns in working and non-working women with fibromyalgia. Methods used are a postal questionnaire, instruments commonly used in fibromyalgia, a diary, and interviews.

Results: Despite limitations in physical capacity, 48% of the women are working, full-time or part-time. However, most job loss is associated with the fibromyalgia symptoms, and the women report that the symptoms influence their daily activities during most of their waking time. There is a rapid increase in sickness absence in the newly-diagnosed women, and the young women in particular do not return to the labour market during the first year after receiving their diagnosis. The non-working women have a more demanding family situation, and are also less satisfied with their present situation than working women.

Conclusion: When individual adjustments of the work situation are made and the women participate to a level that matches their ability, they are able to continue in a work role. In evaluating the women’s work capacity, the total life situation of the women should be considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2004. 47 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 845
work role, newly-diagnosed, time-use, activity pattern, family work
National Category
Clinical Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-5184 (URN)91-7373-818-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-04-21, Victoriasalen, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (English)
On the day of the public defence of the doctoral thesis, the status of article III and IV was Submitted.Available from: 2004-05-21 Created: 2004-05-21 Last updated: 2012-01-25Bibliographically approved

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Henriksson, ChrisLiedberg, Gunilla
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