Working-aged adults with arthritis report significant financial burden

Last updated: 03-15-2020

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Working-aged adults with arthritis report significant financial burden

Working-aged adults with arthritis report significant financial burden
March 13, 2020
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Danielle Berkovic
Adults aged 18 to 50 years with various rheumatic conditions experience significant arthritis-related financial burdens , often leading to considerable distress and anxiety, according to findings published in Arthritis Care & Research.
“Financial distress amongst people with arthritis is known to contribute to poorer health outcomes, including psychological distress and physical pain,” Danielle Berkovic, BHSc, of Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia, told Healio Rheumatology. “This study is important as it is one of the first to adopt a person-centered methodology to explore the perceived financial impacts of living with arthritis amongst younger adults.”
“Our results highlight a spectrum of arthritis-attributable costs that contribute to financial distress, from direct payments for specialist appointments, through to loss of wages and reduced employment based on physical symptom burden,” she added. “It also highlights the broader financial burden this places on the family unit as a potentially single-income household.”
To examine the self-reported financial impacts of arthritis among working-aged adults, Berkovic and colleagues conducted a qualitative descriptive study of patients with rheumatic diseases across Australia. They recruited adults aged 18 to 50 years with a diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis using arthritis consumer organizations, university newsletters and social media. The researchers selected participants to represent a range of arthritis disease types, sex, employment status, geographic locations and socioeconomic status.
 
Adults aged 18 to 50 years with various rheumatic conditions experience significant arthritis-related financial burdens, often leading to considerable distress and anxiety, according to findings.
Source: Adobe
The analysis comprised 21 participants, of whom 90% were women. Rheumatic conditions represented among the cohort included rheumatoid arthritis , psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. Researchers conducted telephone interviews with each of the participants, using a schedule developed and informed by existing literature. The interview guide included open-ended and probing questions regarding the financial impacts of their disease. Later, Berkovic and colleagues used deductive and inductive coding techniques to identify financialrelated themes arising from the data.
According to the researchers, there were four common themes expressed by the participants. These included the financial burden of direct arthritis-related medical costs, unexpected financial burdens due to indirect arthritis-related costs, insurance and pension costs, and broader financial impacts on the family. Participants also reported reduced employment wages, and despite access to a publicly funded health care system, many were living below the poverty line. Costs that were not subsidized by the Australian health care system were frequently referenced by participants as burdensome. These implications were associated with distress and anxiety, the researchers wrote.
“Discussion of arthritis-related financial concerns should form part of shared clinical decision-making, to facilitate patient-centered care,” Berkovic said. “Clinicians need to be cognizant that their patients may be experiencing financial distress, and that identifying these concerns as part of routine clinical care can help inform shared decision making, particularly as it relates to accessing interventions or services that are high-value and fiscally feasible.” – by Jason Laday
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
Danielle Berkovic
Adults aged 18 to 50 years with various rheumatic conditions experience significant arthritis-related financial burdens , often leading to considerable distress and anxiety, according to findings published in Arthritis Care & Research.
“Financial distress amongst people with arthritis is known to contribute to poorer health outcomes, including psychological distress and physical pain,” Danielle Berkovic, BHSc, of Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia, told Healio Rheumatology. “This study is important as it is one of the first to adopt a person-centered methodology to explore the perceived financial impacts of living with arthritis amongst younger adults.”
“Our results highlight a spectrum of arthritis-attributable costs that contribute to financial distress, from direct payments for specialist appointments, through to loss of wages and reduced employment based on physical symptom burden,” she added. “It also highlights the broader financial burden this places on the family unit as a potentially single-income household.”
To examine the self-reported financial impacts of arthritis among working-aged adults, Berkovic and colleagues conducted a qualitative descriptive study of patients with rheumatic diseases across Australia. They recruited adults aged 18 to 50 years with a diagnosis of inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis using arthritis consumer organizations, university newsletters and social media. The researchers selected participants to represent a range of arthritis disease types, sex, employment status, geographic locations and socioeconomic status.
 
Adults aged 18 to 50 years with various rheumatic conditions experience significant arthritis-related financial burdens, often leading to considerable distress and anxiety, according to findings.
Source: Adobe
The analysis comprised 21 participants, of whom 90% were women. Rheumatic conditions represented among the cohort included rheumatoid arthritis , psoriatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. Researchers conducted telephone interviews with each of the participants, using a schedule developed and informed by existing literature. The interview guide included open-ended and probing questions regarding the financial impacts of their disease. Later, Berkovic and colleagues used deductive and inductive coding techniques to identify financialrelated themes arising from the data.
According to the researchers, there were four common themes expressed by the participants. These included the financial burden of direct arthritis-related medical costs, unexpected financial burdens due to indirect arthritis-related costs, insurance and pension costs, and broader financial impacts on the family. Participants also reported reduced employment wages, and despite access to a publicly funded health care system, many were living below the poverty line. Costs that were not subsidized by the Australian health care system were frequently referenced by participants as burdensome. These implications were associated with distress and anxiety, the researchers wrote.
“Discussion of arthritis-related financial concerns should form part of shared clinical decision-making, to facilitate patient-centered care,” Berkovic said. “Clinicians need to be cognizant that their patients may be experiencing financial distress, and that identifying these concerns as part of routine clinical care can help inform shared decision making, particularly as it relates to accessing interventions or services that are high-value and fiscally feasible.” – by Jason Laday
Disclosures: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.
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