Rheumatoid Arthritis | Employment and Arthritis: Making it Work

Rheumatoid Arthritis research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

The investigators plan to conduct a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness and the cost effectiveness of an on-line eLearning program (entitled Employment and Arthritis: Making it Work) designed to help people with inflammatory arthritis stay employed. The program also includes assessments with 1) an occupational therapist, and 2) a vocational rehabilitation counsellor at the end of the program to help participants identify and obtain necessary changes at work. People from three provinces will be recruited from collaborators' patient and program recipient lists. The study group will receive the program intervention and the control group will receive \"usual care\" and printed educational material. All participants will be followed for five years. The effectiveness of the program at improving at work productivity and reducing work cessation will be evaluated compared to a control group receiving printed material on employment and arthritis.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: - Between ages 18 and 59 years - Able to read and write English - Have inflammatory arthritis confirmed by a rheumatologist (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic, Psoriatic Arthritis, Other Connective Tissue Diseases and Spondylarthropathy) - Have access to a computer, a web-cam, a headset and a printer, or willingness to purchase these items - Are willing to travel to Vancouver, Kelowna, Victoria, Prince Rupert, Prince George, Cranbrook or Kamloops, Calgary, Toronto, Newmarket or Brampton for one visit with an occupational therapist Exclusion Criteria: - Individuals who are not working - Individuals on sick leave, short term or long term work disability - Students - People performing unpaid work such as volunteer work or taking care of family - People planning to retire in the next six years - Individuals unable to provide informed consent - Individuals living outside of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ankylosing Spondylitis

Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic

Psoriatic Arthritis

Other Connective Tissue Diseases


Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:Employment and Arthritis: Making it WorkA ten week on-line eLearning program designed to help people with inflammatory arthritis stay employed. The program consists of 1) 5 interactive web-based eLearning modules that participants will complete individually in between the weekly group sessions, 2) 5 weekly group sessions conducted as virtual real-time web-based group meetings led by a trained facilitator, 3) asynchronous communications such as a message board to facilitate additional interactions among participants, 4) consultations with an occupational therapist (in-person)for an ergonomic assessment, and a vocational rehabilitation counsellor (on-line consultation using web technology) for job retention vocational counselling.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Intervention GroupThe intervention group will participate in the on-line eLearning program, an ergonomic assessment by an Occupational Therapist and job retention vocational counselling by a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor

Control GroupThe control group will receive "usual care" and receive printed educational materials about work and arthritis.

Study Status

Active, not recruiting

Start Date: June 2013

Completed Date: June 2023

Phase: N/A

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Efficacy analysis of at work productivity

Secondary Outcome: Temporary work cessation

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Diane Lacaille, MD, FRCPC, MHSc

Lead Sponsor: University of British Columbia

Collaborator: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)

More information:

Discuss Arthritis