Rheumatic Disease Disclosure at the Early Career Phase and Its Impact on the Relationship Between Workplace Supports and Presenteeism Journal Articles uri icon

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  • ObjectiveYoung adults with rheumatic disease face challenges communicating health needs, accessing workplace support, and sustaining productivity. Our objective was to examine whether disclosure modifies the relationship between workplace support and presenteeism.MethodsAn online survey was administered to Canadian young adults with rheumatic disease and asked about presenteeism (0 = health had no effect on work; 10 = health completely prevented working), workplace support need, availability, and use and whether health details were disclosed to an immediate supervisor. A multivariable robust linear regression model was conducted and stratified by those who did and did not disclose the details of their health to their supervisor.ResultsA total of 306 participants completed the survey with a mean ± SD presenteeism score of 4.89 ± 2.65. More than 70% disclosed health details to their supervisor; those who disclosed reported greater presenteeism (mean ± SD 5.2 ± 2.5) when compared to those who did not disclose (mean ± SD 4.2 ± 2.61). Greater disease severity was associated with disclosure. Half of the participants reported unmet workplace support needs (53%), 32% reported that their workplace support needs were met, and 15% reported exceeded workplace support needs. The relationship between presenteeism and workplace support needs was modified by disclosure. For participants who disclosed, workplace support needs that were unmet (β = 1.59 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.75, 2.43]) and that were met (β = 1.25 [95% CI 0.39, 2.11]) were associated with greater presenteeism when compared to those with exceeded workplace support needs.ConclusionTo address presenteeism, strategies should be developed for young adults with rheumatic disease to foster access to available workplace supports and to navigate disclosure decisions.


  • Jetha, Arif
  • Tucker, Lori
  • Backman, Catherine
  • Kristman, Vicki L
  • Bowring, Julie
  • Hazel, Elizabeth M
  • Perlin, Louise
  • Proulx, Laurie
  • Chen, Cynthia
  • Gignac, Monique AM

publication date

  • October 2022