Scottish researchers analyzed patient data from the Scotland Registry for Ankylosing Spondylitis (SIRAS) cohort study to determine whether there is an association between driving difficulty and work productivity in those with axial spondyloarthritis (ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis).
The study included 718 axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) patients. Using a self-administered questionnaire, researchers gathered data on the participants’ socioeconomic status and lifestyle characteristics. The Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire was used to assess work productivity. Clinical data on the participants was obtained through their medical records. In addition, participants were asked to rate how difficult it was for them to perform nine specific driving related tasks.
Of the 718 participants, 642 (89%) reported having some difficulty with at least one driving task, and 72 (10%) had some difficulty with all nine tasks. 66% reported being either employed or a student. Of the nine driving tasks, 78.1% of participants reported sitting in their motor vehicle for long periods of time as the most difficult task, followed by 71.7% reporting getting in or out of the motor vehicle as the second most difficult task. A list of these reported data and tasks can be found in the full study. Overall, 64% of those employed reported having work productivity issues due to their axSpA, with 8% having missed work in the past seven days.
The study concluded that a person’s work productivity was in fact associated with a person’s driving ability or difficulty, and that better understanding and awareness of the driving challenges many with axSpA experience will help direct resources to help more people with axSpA remain in the work force.
Further research is needed to help understand what resources and services can help offset these difficulties and enable those with axSpA to best maintain work productivity.
What difficulties and challenges do you experience when driving? Is your work productivity impacted by your spondyloarthritis? If so, how? Also, do you have any tips or advice for others who may be experiencing the same issues? Please email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org and help us better understand our community’s needs.
Full study: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/acr.24595
Morton L, Macfarlane GJ, Jones G, Walker-Bone K, Hollick R. Driving difficulties in patients with axial spondyloarthritis: results from the Scotland Registry for Ankylosing Spondylitis. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). Published online March 18, 2021. doi:10.1002/acr.24595
Jacobs, S. (2021, April 07). Driving Difficulties Common Among Patients With Axial Spondyloarthritis. Retrieved May 25, 2021, from https://www.rheumatologyadvisor.com/home/topics/spondyloarthritis/driving-difficulties-work-impact-common-among-patients-with-axial-spondyloarthritis/