Biologic therapy may reduce work activity impairment in axSpA patients
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medwireNews: Patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) who are treated with biologic therapies may have less impairment in work activities than those not taking biologics, suggests an analysis of the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register in Ankylosing Spondylitis (BSRBR-AS).
Of the 465 axSpA patients from the registry who were in employment at study baseline, the 26.7% who commenced biologic treatment had significantly greater improvements in self-reported overall activity impairment and presenteeism at the 1-year follow-up than patients not taking biologic therapy after adjustment for factors including disease activity and smoking. Patients taking biologics also had greater improvements in absenteeism and work impairment, but the differences between the groups did not reach statistical significance.
In a meta-analysis combining the BSRBR-AS registry results with those of other published studies, receiving biologic therapy was associated with significantly greater improvements in overall activity impairment, presenteeism, and work productivity, but not in absenteeism.
“There is a substantial unmet need in relation to work, even with the improvements that we have observed,” said Joanna Shim (University of Aberdeen, UK), who presented the results at the 2018 British Society for Rheumatology Annual Conference in Liverpool, UK.
Noting that “work is a very important economic and social outcome” for some patients, she proposed that future studies of treatment approaches for axSpA “should [include] assessment of work outcomes as a standard measure.”
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