OBJECTIVES: Individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD) become unavailable in the workforce earlier than comparable members of the general population. This may result in significant social insurance expenses, but as workforce participation can be a source for social interaction and a vital part of the personal identity, there are likely to be personal implications extending far beyond the economic aspects. This study aimed to identify aspects that may contribute to workforce unavailability in people with PD.
MATERIALS & METHODS: This was a cross-sectional registry study using data from the Swedish national quality registry for PD and included persons with PD in Skåne County, Sweden who were younger than 65 years. Variables were selected from the registry based on earlier studies and clinical experience and were tested for association with unavailability in the workforce: first in a series of simple regression analyses and then in a multiple logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: A total of 99 persons with PD-of whom 59 were available and 40 were unavailable in the workforce-were included in the study. Age (OR per year: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.18-1.85; P < 0.01) and anxiety (OR: 6.81, 95% CI: 1.20-38.67; P = 0.03) were significant contributing factors for unavailability in the workforce.
CONCLUSIONS: Based on the findings in this exploratory study, anxiety-a potentially modifiable factor-and age may be contributing factors for workforce unavailability in PD. However, prospective studies are warranted to confirm the findings and the causation of the association between anxiety and workforce unavailability needs to be clarified.
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