Predictors of workplace disability in a premanifest huntington’s disease cohort

Journal article


Goh, Anita M. Y., You, Emily, Perin, Stephanie, Clay, Fiona J., Loi, Samantha, Ellis, Kathryn, Chong, Terence, Ames, David and Lautenschlager, Nicola. (2018). Predictors of workplace disability in a premanifest huntington’s disease cohort. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 30(2), pp. 115 - 121. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.17040086
AuthorsGoh, Anita M. Y., You, Emily, Perin, Stephanie, Clay, Fiona J., Loi, Samantha, Ellis, Kathryn, Chong, Terence, Ames, David and Lautenschlager, Nicola
Abstract

Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease involving motor, cognitive, and psychiatric/behavioral impairments that will eventually affect work role functioning. Few objective data exist regarding predictors of workplace disability in HD. The authors explored the predictors of work impairment and disability in a cross-sectional cohort of 656 employed, premanifest HD (preHD) individuals. In this cohort—the majority of whom were female, urban-dwelling, married/partnered, and working full-time, with minimal cognitive impairment, good function, minimal motor abnormality, and no indication of significant mental health issues—the number of participants who reported that they had missed work due to HD was low (2.4%). However, 12% of the study sample reported experiencing impairment while working due to preHD, 12.2% reported work-related activity impairment due to preHD, and 12.7% reported impairment in their overall work ability. Higher numbers of CAG repeats on the mutant allele and having more motor symptoms were associated with significantly higher odds of experiencing workplace impairment. Importantly, several modifiable factors were also found to predict workplace disability. Specifically, higher levels of anxiety symptoms were associated with significantly higher odds of experiencing workplace impairment. Good mental and physical health served as protective factors, where good physical health was associated with 6% lower odds of experiencing impairment or missing work time and good mental health was associated with of 10%−12% lower. The results provide important new knowledge for the development of future targeted intervention trials to support preHD individuals in maintaining their work roles as long as possible.

KeywordsHuntington’s disease; workplace disability; health promotion; Huntington-s Disease
Year2018
JournalJournal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
Journal citation30 (2), pp. 115 - 121
PublisherAmerican Psychiatric Association
ISSN0895-0172
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.neuropsych.17040086
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85045528762
Page range115 - 121
Research GroupInstitute for Health and Ageing
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited States of America
EditorsD. B. Arciniegas
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