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Participation restrictions at work indicate participation restrictions in other domains of life

Muschalla, Beate ORCID; Vilain, Martyn; Lawall, Christof; Lewerenz, Mario; Linden, Michael GND

Background: Health problems are often associated with activity limitations and participation restrictions, as defined in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF). This often affects the workplace in the form of sick leave or a reduction in productivity. The question is: to what extent are participation restrictions at work related to participation restrictions in other domains of life? Method: A total of 382 primary health care patients (aged 18-65) were asked to provide information on their employment status, perceived health-related workplace problems and sick leave status. Health-dependent participation restrictions across different domains of life were assessed using the Index for Measuring Participation Restrictions (IMET)self rating questionnaire. Results: Currently unemployed patients reported significantly higher degrees of participation restrictions across all domains of life than the employed participants. Employed patients with workplace problems scored higher than patients without workplace problems. The domain of work encompassed the highest level of impairment, while the lowest was observed in personal relationships. Conclusion: Workplace problems occur frequently for primary health care patients. They coincide with participation restrictions in other domains of life. For patients who complain about their capacity to work, diagnosis and treatment must not only focus on the work domain, but also enquire into and consider participation restrictions in other domains of life.

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License Holder: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology, Health & Medicine on 30. June 2011, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13548506.2011.592840

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