Poster Presentation Australasian Society for Dermatological Research Annual Scientific Meeting 2017

The effect of autoimmune blistering diseases on work productivity (#41)

Esther Wang 1 2 , Maria Adriana Castrillon 3 , Dedee Murrell 1 2
  1. Department of Dermatology, St George Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. Department of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  3. Clínica Alemana de Santiago, Facultad de Medicina Clínica Alemana-Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile

Background: Quality of life (QoL) is known to be negatively affected by autoimmune blistering diseases (AIBD), and AIBD-specific instruments have been developed to measure QoL. Work productivity and employment is an important aspect of a patient’s life which can be affected by their disease. The Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire (WPAIQ) is an validated instrument which can measure work productivity, to assess the impact of disease on patients’ work lives.  


Objective: To assess and analyse the current literature pertaining to work productivity in patients with AIBD and other dermatological diseases.


Methods: A literature search was conducted using PubMed, Medline and EMBASE. The following search terms were used: pemphigus, bullous, pemphigoid, blistering, work productivity, employment, job, burden, stress, dermatological diseases, work impairment, WPAIQ, AIBD.


Results: In the current literature, there are several studies investigating QoL, however there is only one study examining the effects of work productivity in AIBD patients. There are some work productivity studies conducted in psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and chronic hand dermatitis. These studies have demonstrated and quantified the large impact of disease on absenteeism, presenteeism, total work productivity impairment (TWPI) and total activity impairment (TAI).


Conclusion: There currently exists a paucity in research utilising the WPAIQ in blistering diseases and to investigate whether AIBD affects employment status. Further investigation is required to understand the reason why AIBD cause such a large impact on work productivity. Using QoL instruments in conjunction with the creation of an adapted WPAIQ examining the reasons behind work impairment may further characterise these effects and unveil a deeper understanding of stigmatisation in the workplace as a factor in loss of work productivity.

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