Influence of biologic therapy on return to work in people with work disability due to ankylosing spondylitis

A. C. Keat, K. Gaffney, A. K. Gilbert, C. Harris, J. Leeder

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40 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE: To answer the question 'does TNF blockade therapy enable people with severe AS to return to work or work more productively?'.

METHODS: All patients with AS currently receiving anti-TNF therapy at two UK Hospitals were asked to complete a questionnaire. This asked about occupational history, type of work, degree of job-related physical activity, working hours and sickness absence from work both currently (on anti-TNF treatment) and pre-treatment.

RESULTS: Sixty-five patients (72.3% male), aged 29-64 (mean 46.1) yrs, whose duration of anti-TNF treatment ranged from 3 to 56 (mean 19.1) months were studied. Twenty-four (36.9%) patients were receiving infliximab, 21 (32.3%) etanercept and 20 (30.8%) adalimumab. Pre-treatment, 46 (70.8%) were in employment (1 was a student); 38 (58.5%) were working full-time and 8 (12.3%) part-time; 19 (29.2%) were not working. On treatment, 50 (76.9%) patients were working, 44 (67.7%) full-time and 6 (9.2%) part-time. Two individuals who worked part-time pre-treatment had returned to work full-time. Thus, on treatment, 4 of the 19 patients who were previously unable to work returned to employment, and 2 others increased their work from part-time to full-time. Patients rated the effect of AS on work capacity as 7.05/10 pre-treatment and 2.92/10 post-treatment. Those who were working lost, on average, 15 days from work due to sick leave in the 12 months pre-treatment and 0.91 days in the first 12 months on treatment.

CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of active AS with TNF blockade appears to be associated with improved capacity for work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-483
Number of pages3
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2008


  • Adalimumab
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Employment
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor/therapeutic use
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sick Leave/statistics & numerical data
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing/drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/antagonists & inhibitors
  • Work Capacity Evaluation

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