Ankylose This! Living with Ankylosing Spondylitis

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ankylosing spondylitis and work

The National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society conducted a survey of 324 of their members in August and September 2009. More than half of the respondents (54 percent) with severe AS identified their workplace as the part of their lives most affected by their disease. About a third (38 percent) said that they'd received advice on coping with work from either a health care professional or their employer, and around half said that their doctor had never discussed work issues with them. Press release.

I'm both nodding in recognition and disturbed by these results. I could say quite a bit about how AS has affected my own career prospects and my ability to work full or even part time. I was under the impression that much of the treatment we undergo was aimed in large part at getting us to stay in or return to the workplace (or, to put it another way: without treatment we would be unable to work). Does it say something about the quality and effectiveness of our treatment if so many of us are reporting work issues? If nothing else, managing workplace issues may be a missing link in the total care package.

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