- Dr Adam MartinUniversity of Leeds
- Dr Nasir RajahUniversity of Leeds
This project will investigate how labour market experiences differ for people with arthritis when compared to similar individuals without arthritis.
In 2014, 30.8 million working days were lost to sickness due to musculoskeletal conditions. However, few studies have used individual-level data to study the relationship between arthritis and employment.
The project will assess how individual-level earnings are affected by arthritis, how these trajectories evolve over the life course, and examine the particular employment events and experiences that people face (including job loss, early retirement, an inability to find appropriate work, and a lack of career progression). The project will also estimate arthritis-attributable lost earnings to the whole economy.
This research will use nationally representative data from Understanding Society and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and compare the earnings trajectories of at least 20,000 working-age people with arthritis to that of at least 40,000 people without arthritis. The researchers will examine how these trajectories vary according to individual-level characteristics, such as gender, age, ethnicity, employment sector, family circumstances and comorbid health conditions.
The datasets will be harmonised into one large resource, which will be released for use in future research to assess statistical relationships between an arthritis diagnosis and various economic, social and psychological outcomes.
The researchers will work with an advisory group including expert patients, academics, clinicians, charities, government organisations and employers. Throughout the project, ongoing findings will be released through social media and six-monthly interim reports. The final policy report will summarise the main findings and give action points tailored to individuals, employers and government.
Arthritis affects around 10 million people in the UK of all ages, and the economic impact of working days lost because of it is therefore significant. This study will help us to understand who is most affected by this and what kind of interventions might make a difference.Dr Adam Martin, Senior Research Fellow, School of Medicine, University of Leeds