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Unemployment And Work Disability In Individuals With ME/CFS

Friday 5 July 2019


From BMC Public Health:



Unemployment and work disability in individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis: a community-based cross-sectional study from Spain

Jesús Castro-Marrero†, Mónica Faro†,María Cleofé Zaragozá, Luisa Aliste, Tomás Fernández de Sevilla and José Alegre
†Contributed equally

BMC Public Health 2019 19:840

© The Author(s). 2019

Received: 10 January 2019
Accepted: 23 June 2019
Published: 28 June 2019



Few reports have examined the association between unemployment and work disability in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME). This study explored the key determinants of work disability in a CFS/ME cohort.


A community-based prospective study included 1086 CFS/ME patients aged 18–65 years. Demographic and clinical characteristics and outcome measures were recorded. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify key risk indicators of work disability.


Four hundred and fifty patients with CFS/ME were employed (41.4%) and 636 were unemployed (58.6%). Older age at pain onset (OR: 1.44; 95% CI: 1. 12–1.84, autonomic dysfunction (OR: 2.21; 95% CI: 1.71–2.87), neurological symptom (OR: 1.66; 95% CI: 1. 30–2.13) and higher scores for fatigue (OR: 2.61; 95% CI: 2.01–3.39), pain (OR: 2.09; 95% CI: 1.47–2.97), depression (OR: 1.98; 95% CI: 1. 20–3.26), psychopathology (OR: 1.98; 95% CI: 1.51–2.61) and sleep dysfunction (OR: 1.47; 95% CI: 1. 14–1.90) were all associated with a higher risk of work disability due to illness.


Using an explanatory approach, our findings suggest that unemployment is consistently associated with an increased risk of work disability due to CFS/ME, although further more rigorous research is now needed to help in targeting interventions at the workplace.


Full article…



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