Session Type: ARHP Concurrent Abstract Session
Session Time: 11:00AM-12:30PM
Background/Purpose: There is concern that an aging workforce results in lost skills and high burden on pension programs. This has resulted in the dissolution of mandatory retirement in many countries and an expectation that older adults will work longer, including in bridge employment (retiring from a main career but continuing to work in a new job/capacity). Previous research finds that many individuals with arthritis leave employment prematurely, but information about retirement plans and sustaining work is scarce. This study examined older workers with arthritis and healthy controls in terms of: 1) retirement plans and bridge employment; and 2) factors associated with bridge employment.
Methods: Participants had osteoarthritis (OA) or inflammatory arthritis (IA) or no disabling health conditions. They were recruited from a national panel of 80,000 Canadians. Invitations were sent to a sub-sample of individuals aged ≥ 50 yrs to reach a quota of 500 arthritis and 500 healthy respondents. Eligibility included current employment; absence of disabling conditions other than arthritis; and fluency in English/French. A cross-sectional survey was administered on-line or by telephone and assessed demographic (age, gender, education); health (pain, fatigue); planned retirement age and expectations, returning to work after retirement (bridge employment) and work context (job sector, hours, physical work, self employment). Analyses of variance and logistic regression examined differences between groups and factors related to retirement.
Results: There was a 59% response rate to study invitations and final sample of 631 arthritis participants (OA >70%; women=53.6%) and 538 healthy controls (44% women) who were on average 59 yrs old. Groups were similar in many demographic and work context factors. Respondents with arthritis reported significantly poorer health (pain, fatigue, workplace activity limitations). Yet, healthy controls and respondents with arthritis were not significantly different in planned retirement age (~65 yrs) or in desiring to remain working full- or part-time after retirement (healthy FT=7.1%, PT=52.4%; arthritis FT=7.6%, PT=50.6%). Arthritis respondents were more likely to believe they might retire sooner than planned (22.1%; healthy 6.8%) and to have retired previously and returned to work (20.3%; healthy 13.0%). Health factors (pain, fatigue, co-morbidities, workplace activity limitations) were significantly associated with expectations of retiring sooner than planned. Healthy controls working in bridge employment were more likely to be self-employed and working for smaller organizations (<50 people); arthritis respondents were more likely to be in contract or part-time work and to report financial need as a reason for bridge employment.
Conclusion: Previous research has focused on giving up work among those with arthritis. This study highlights that many with arthritis return to bridge employment after retiring and have similar expectations and plans as their healthy counterparts. Research is needed examining types of work that might sustain the employment of those with arthritis.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Gignac MAM, Badley EM, Beaton D, Kristman V, Mustard C, Smith P, Ibrahim S. Keeping Baby Boomers in the Labour Force Longer: What Does It Mean for Workers with Arthritis? [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/keeping-baby-boomers-in-the-labour-force-longer-what-does-it-mean-for-workers-with-arthritis/. Accessed October 30, 2020.
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