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.
- Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use
- Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
- Antirheumatic Agents/therapeutic use
- Drug Evaluation
- Immunoglobulin G/therapeutic use
- 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