DOI: 10.1177/1759720x231189079 ISSN:

Achievement of higher thresholds of clinical responses and lower levels of disease activity is associated with improvements in workplace and household productivity in patients with axial spondyloarthritis

Martin Rudwaleit, Pedro M. Machado, Vanessa Taieb, Natasha de Peyrecave, Bengt Hoepken, Lianne S. Gensler
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rheumatology


Patients with active axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) exhibit more absences and lower levels of productivity in the workplace and household than the general population, which can improve upon treatment.


The objective of this study is to determine the long-term impact of achieving different levels of clinical response or disease activity on workplace and household productivity in patients with axSpA.


RAPID-axSpA (NCT01087762) was a 204-week phase III trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of certolizumab pegol (CZP) in adult patients with active axSpA.


The impact of axSpA on workplace and household productivity was evaluated using the validated arthritis-specific Work Productivity Survey. Outcomes included the percentage of patients achieving Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS) response and Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) thresholds. This post hoc study used a generalised estimating equations model to determine the association between the threshold of clinical response achieved and patient productivity.


Of 218 CZP-randomised patients, 65.1% completed week 204. At baseline, 72.0% were employed outside the home. Of the patients who were unemployed, 42.6% were unable to work due to arthritis. Achievement of higher treatment response thresholds, such as clinical remission, was associated with fewer days affected by workplace absenteeism (ASAS-partial remission: 4.0 days, ASAS40: 8.6 days, ASAS20 but not reaching ASAS40 response: 29.4 days, ASAS20 non-response: 69.2 days; ASDAS-inactive disease: 5.0 days, ASDAS-low disease activity: 15.6 days, ASDAS-high disease activity: 32.7 days, ASDAS-very high disease activity: 93.4 days). Similar associations were found for workplace presenteeism, and household absenteeism and presenteeism.


Over 4 years, achievement of higher clinical response thresholds and lower levels of disease activity was associated with fewer cumulative days affected by absenteeism or presenteeism, with clinical remission associated with the greatest improvements in productivity. This highlights the importance of targeting these thresholds to limit the burden of axSpA on society and on patients’ daily lives.

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