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Disabil Rehabil. 2011;33(25-26):2587-95. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.582923. Epub 2011 Jun 15.

Experiences and needs for work participation in employees with rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy.

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Coronel Institute of Occupational Health, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



To investigate the experiences and needs with respect to work participation of employees with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy.


Face-to-face interviews in 14 employees with RA on anti-TNF therapy focused on experiences, offered support and needs with respect to work participation.


Experiences regarding work participation varied and ranged from fatigue at work, having no job control, not being understood by the work environment or difficulty dealing with emotions as a result of interaction within the work environment. Support by health care professionals for work participation was considered important, especially concerning social or psychological issues. Advice in becoming aware of one's changes in abilities was highly appreciated, as was the availability of professional advice in times of an urgent work issue due to RA. Employees mentioned an increase in social support at work and job control as important facilitating factors for work participation.


Although patients with RA report improvement in their work functioning after starting anti-TNF therapy, employees continue facing challenges in working life due to RA. For support concerning work participation, it is recommended that health care professionals are more aware of work-related problems in patients with RA treated with anti-TNF therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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