Randomized prospective study of a workplace ergonomic intervention for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis
Arthritis Care & Research ,

Baldwin D et al. – An ergonomic, work–place intervention (versus a control) is associated with decreased arthrtitis–related work difficulties over 2 years for individuals with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as improvements in physical functioning and pain.

Methods
  • 89 participants (mean age = 50.54; 88% female; 38% RA, 62% OA) were randomized into the intervention or control groups.
  • Seventy five participants completed baseline, 12 month, and 24 month evaluations.
  • Outcome measures: Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 (AIMS2) Physical, Symptom (i.e., pain), and Role scores (i.e., impact of arthritis on employment); Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS); and Brief Symptom Inventory Global Scale Index (BSI GSI).
  • Design: two–factor (treatment, time) with repeated measures on one factor (time) design used with baseline as a covariate for 12 and 24 month data.

Results
  • Between group analyses indicated differences at 24 months for the AIMS2 Role score (p<.03), with the intervention group reporting less arthritis–related impact on their work.
  • Within group analyses indicated significant improvements for the intervention group in AIMS2 change scores for Physical Functioning and Symptom variables at 12 months (p<.04; p < .01, respectively) and 24 months (p<.01, p<.01, respectively).
  • Job satisfaction (JSS) decreased at 12 months for both the intervention (p<.01) and control groups (p<.01), and at 24 months for the control group (p<.01).

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