Research Article| Volume 169, ISSUE 2, P331-339, July 2013

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The influence of endometriosis-related symptoms on work life and work ability: a study of Danish endometriosis patients in employment



      Little is known about the implications of endometriosis on women's work life. This study aimed at examining the relation between endometriosis-related symptoms and work ability in employed women with endometriosis.

      Study design

      In a cohort study, 610 patients with diagnosed endometriosis and 751 reference women completed an electronic survey based on the Endometriosis Health Profile 30-questionnaire and the Work Ability Index (short form). Percentages were reported for all data. Binary and multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to assess risk factors for low work ability. The level of statistical significance was set at p < 0.025 in all analyses.


      In binary analyses a diagnosis of endometriosis was associated with more sick days, work disturbances due to symptoms, lower work ability and a wide number of other implications on work life in employed women. Moreover, a higher pain level and degree of symptoms were associated with low work ability. Full regression analysis indicated that tiredness, frequent pain, a higher daily pain level, a higher number of sick days and feeling depressed at work were associated with low work ability. A long delay from symptom onset to diagnosis was associated with low work ability.


      These data indicate a severe impact of endometriosis on the work ability of employed women with endometriosis and add to the evidence that this disease represents a significant socio-economic burden.


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