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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate household and work place outcomes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were homemakers or employed workers, respectively, and who were treated with adalimumab plus methotrexate versus methotrexate monotherapy. We also determined baseline predictors of household and work place outcomes.

Methods

Data were from a health economic companion study to PREMIER, a 2-year, randomized controlled trial of methotrexate-naive patients with early RA (<3 years) who received treatment with adalimumab plus methotrexate, adalimumab, or methotrexate. Absenteeism (number of days missed or unfit to work), presenteeism (self-judgment of the effects of RA on job or household performance), and employment status were collected from self-reports at baseline and varying time points during the study.

Results

Household and work place outcomes were generally similar for homemakers and employed workers. Over 2 years, patients who received combination therapy missed approximately half as many days as patients who received methotrexate (17.4 versus 36.9 days for employed workers; 7.9 versus 18.6 days for homemakers). Presenteeism was lower (reflecting better productivity) for combination therapy than methotrexate monotherapy. The likelihood of gaining/retaining employment over 2 years was greater for combination therapy than methotrexate monotherapy (odds ratio 1.530, 95% confidence interval 1.038–2.255; P = 0.0318). Baseline radiographic progression was an independent predictor for retaining/gaining employment at 2 years.

Conclusion

Compared with methotrexate monotherapy, combination therapy was associated with more positive work outcomes: less absenteeism, less presenteeism, and greater likelihood of gaining/retaining employment. Radiographic progression at baseline was predictive of the ability to retain or gain employment.