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The Impact of Fibromyalgia on Employment Status of Newly-Diagnosed Young Women
School of Nursing, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, USA.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Health, Activity, Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2005 (English)In: Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, ISSN 1058-2452, Vol. 13, no 2, 31-41 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objectives: To describe employment loss in young women with newly diagnosed fibromyalgia syndrome [FMS] and to identify variables that may explain early loss of employment.

Methods: In this pilot studsy, 94 young women [18-39 years old] in the United States [USA] and Sweden completed demographics, global rating scales, and standardized questionnaires, including the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, SF-36 General Health Subscale, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Arthritis Self-Efficacy Scale, Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales II Social Support Subscale, and Job Flexibility Scale, three times during the first 12 to 15 months after diagnosis.

Results: At the time of diagnosis, 60 percent were in paid employment [USA 71 percent, Sweden 49 percent]. When the participants entered the study, within three months of diagnosis, only 46 percent were working [USA 56 percent, Sweden 37 percent]. Twelve months later, 41 percent were working [USA 55 percent, Sweden 28 percent]. Younger age, poorer physical functioning, and lower self-efficacy for pain management along with higher symptom interference with ability to do any work, and pain severity predicted unemployment with 75 percent accuracy.

Conclusions: An early and notable decrease in the percentage of young women diagnosed with FMS and working in paid employment was seen in this pilot study. Because most of the job loss was associated with FMS symptoms, a larger study of strategies to control or ameliorate these symptoms in the work setting should be undertaken.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 13, no 2, 31-41 p.
Keyword [en]
Fibromyalgia; women; employment; disability; outcomes
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13641DOI: 10.1300/J094v13n02_05OAI: diva2:21096
Available from: 2004-05-21 Created: 2004-05-21 Last updated: 2009-05-07
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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Liedberg, GunillaHenriksson, Chris M.Aspegren-Kendall, Sally
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