Title: Psychology/Social Sciences
Session Type: Abstract Submissions (ARHP)
Background/Purpose: Research on work-life balance with healthy adults finds that difficulties balancing roles is related to negative employment outcomes. Yet, little is known about work-health balance among those with rheumatic diseases, especially in different age groups or career stages.
Objective: To compare perceptions of work-health balance/conflict in younger (18 to 30 years of age) and older (greater than 30 years of age) workers, as well as demographic, health, and job context factors associated with work-health balance/conflict.
Methods: Data from two separate studies were combined: an online survey of 143 young adults (mean age=23.3, SD=3.5, range: 18-30 years) with juvenile arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus; and a telephone survey of 350 workers (mean age =54.2, SD = 8.9; range: 26-69 years) with inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. Respondents completed the Arthritis-Work Spillover Scale (AWS), a 6-item measure of perceived rheumatic disease-related work-health conflict (1 = “strongly disagree”; 5 = “strongly agree”). Participants also completed information on demographics, health (e.g. diagnosis, pain), and work context factors (e.g. work hours, work activity limitations). Descriptive analyses and separate multivariate linear regression analyses by age group (18 to 30 years of age; greater than 30 years) examined factors associated with AWS.
Results: Younger workers reported working significantly fewer hours (30.7 vs. 34.8) and were more likely to work in sales and service jobs (36% vs. 21%) than workers aged 30 years or older (p< .05). AWS was significantly lower among younger workers (mean=2.5, SD= 1.1 versus mean=2.9, SD=1.0, p < .05). Although health and work context factors were associated with AWS for all workers, R-squared values indicated that health factors explained more of the variance in younger workers and work context factors were more important for older workers. Specifically, pain was related to more AWS in younger adults and work hours, job disruptions (e.g., missed meetings), and disclosing one’s disease to an employer were associated with higher AWS in workers older than 30 years of age. Workplace activity limitations was related to increased AWS for all workers.
Conclusion: Younger workers with rheumatic diseases reported less work-health conflict which can be related to differences in the type and hours of their work. In reducing work-health conflict, pain management may be particularly important for younger workers and workplace accommodations may be important for older workers. Future research needs to examine age differences in greater detail, as well as health care management and work context factors.
M. A. Gignac,
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/balancing-work-and-health-do-younger-workers-experience-more-work-health-conflict-than-middle-and-older-aged-workers-with-rheumatic-diseases/