Workplace challenges, supports, and accommodations for people with inflammatory bowel disease: a scoping review Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: To characterize the breadth of challenges that people with IBD experience in the workplace and identify supports and accommodations that can help sustain employment. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A scoping review was conducted using the Arksey and O'Malley framework. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, PsycINFO, CINAHL, EMBASE) and grey literature websites identified English-language studies published from inception through to June 2020. Studies where details were insufficient to extract the study purpose, sample, methods, and findings were deemed of poorer quality and excluded. RESULTS: Eighteen studies met selection criteria. Studies discussed common workplace challenges, including career planning, work performance, managing physical and cognitive symptoms, social impacts at work, and challenges related to the physical work environment and commuting. The range of workplace supports identified by studies was classified into five categories: flexibility, changes to the physical work environment, social support, self-management strategies, and extended health benefits. CONCLUSIONS: IBD research typically has been descriptive and focused on broad characterizations of workplace challenges and supports. Future work needs to examine causal pathways and assess the efficacy of workplace supports, as well as conduct subgroup analyses and develop resources to facilitate communication and accommodation planning between workers living with IBD and their employers.Implications for RehabilitationRehabilitation professionals can play an important role in supporting people working with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) by identifying accommodations and ways to make work environments more supportive.Providing rehabilitation support to people with IBD goes beyond symptom management and needs to consider the broader social, policy, and environmental challenges of employment.


  • Cheng, Leslie
  • Jetha, Arif
  • Cordeaux, Emily
  • Lee, Kate
  • Gignac, Monique AM

publication date

  • November 20, 2022