Work productivity in patients with axial spondyloarthritis initiating biological or targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BackgroundAxial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) can limit work participation. Our objective was to characterise productivity in patients with axSpA, including changes after 12–16 weeks of treatment with biological and targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (b/tsDMARDs).MethodsA systematic literature review identified studies published from 1 January 2010 to 21 October 2021 reporting work productivity using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire in patients with axSpA initiating b/tsDMARDs. Baseline and Week 12–16 overall work productivity, absenteeism, presenteeism and activity impairment scores were used in a random-effects meta-analysis to calculate absolute mean change from baseline for each WPAI-domain.ResultsEleven studies in patients with axSpA who received either placebo (n=727) or treatment with adalimumab, bimekizumab, etanercept, ixekizumab, secukinumab or tofacitinib (n=994) were included. In working patients initiating a b/tsDMARD, mean baseline overall work productivity impairment, absenteeism and presenteeism scores were 52.1% (N=7 studies), 11.0% and 48.8% (N=6 studies), respectively. At Week 12–16, the pooled mean change from baseline in overall work impairment for b/tsDMARDs or placebo was −21.6% and −12.3%. When results were extrapolated to 1 year, the potential annual reductions in cost of paid and unpaid productivity loss per patient ranged from €11 962.88 to €14 293.54.ConclusionsOver 50% of employed patients with active axSpA experienced work impairment, primarily due to presenteeism. Overall work productivity improved at Weeks 12–16 to a greater extent for patients who received b/tsDMARDs than placebo. Work productivity loss was associated with a substantial cost burden, which was reduced with improvements in impairment.


  • Rudwaleit, Martin
  • Mørup, Michael F
  • Humphries, Brittany
  • Zannat, Noor-E
  • Willems, Damon
  • Taieb, Vanessa
  • Boonen, Annelies

publication date

  • November 2023