Presentation W P1

W P1 (Poster Presentation):
Labor participation across six chronic conditions: the importance of self-rated health

Presented by: Angelique de Rijk


De Rijk AE1

  1. Department of Social Medicine, Research Institute CAPHRI, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Maastricht University



Labor participation among chronically ill is substantially lower than among healthy persons. European figures show only half of those in working age to participate in paid jobs. While the labor participation in working age is 67% in the Netherlands, that for chronically ill is only 25 to 57%. Research shows social demographic, health-related and psychosocial factors to play a role, but chronically ill may experience that it is their health in particular. We therefore aimed to study the relative contribution of self-rated health to the prediction of employment status across different conditions (sarcoidosis, renal disease, neurofibromatosis, hiv, autism and chronic headache) in addition to social demographic and psychosocial variables.


Cross-sectional data were collected by a digital questionnaire on the website of the respective patient organisations during spring 2013. Inclusion criteria were: age between 18-65 and diagnosed condition. The response rate was between 755 (chronic headache) and 216 (neurofibromatosis). Variables included employment status and: (1) health (self-rated health, physical and mental functioning (SF-36), comorbidity, complications, pain); (2) self-esteem and self-efficacy; (3) social support from family, friends and important others; (4) number of life events; (5) health care consumption; (6) lifestyle indicators. For each chronic condition, one logistic regression analysis on employment status was performed per group of variables and if p<0.20, the variable was selected for the final backward logistic regression.


The labor participation was between 56.6 and 85.7%. For all groups but renal disease and neurofibromatosis, self-rated health was a significant predictor of employment status, in addition to other variables. Odds Ratios varied from 2.31 (95% CI=1.48-3.59) to 6.08 (95% CI=2.64-14.02). For renal disease and neurofibromatosis, other health indicators were significant predictors.


The labor participation was relatively high. In four of the six groups, health rated as moderate/good was linked to much higher labor participation. How the own health is rated, should be taken into account when supporting labor participation of individuals with sarcoidosis, hiv, autism and chronic headache.

Schedule Details

Wednesday October 1
13:00 - 14:00 Poster Viewing
Session: Vulnerable workers & ethical issues