The hidden costs of impairments in working ability and functional capacity among Finnish patients with inflammatory bowel diseases and rheumatoid arthritis were assessed in a collaborative effort by ESiOR Oy, Abbvie Oy, The Crohn and Colitis association (Crohn ja Colitis ry), Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), The Finnish Medical Association, The Finnish Rheumatism Association, SITRA, Tehy (The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland), Terveystalo Oy and Occupational Health Helsinki (Työterveys Helsinki).
The results of the survey were represented on 12th July 2017 at SuomiAreena, Pori. The survey report “Tekemätöntä työtä, näkymättömiä kustannuksia – Selvitys tulehduksellisia suolistosairauksia ja reumasairauksia sairastavien työ- ja toimintakyvystä sekä niiden menetyksestä aiheutuvista kustannuksista” is available in Finnish.
The performed survey and assessment was innovative and approximately 70% of results related to productivity losses had never been assessed before. Inspired by the findings, the analysis team of ESiOR encourages future research related to paid and unpaid work lost. The thorough investigation concretized how little drops of water can make a mighty ocean. Especially the cost impact of limited work capacity, unpaid work at home and vocational selection were surprising. All these aspects need to be better incorporated into decision making due to their considerable societal impact.
Current Finnish registries do not enable comprehensive assessment of all hidden costs caused by impairments in work ability and functional capacity. Therefore, the available registry data needs to be supplemented with other innovative data collection and analytical solutions. The performed study was one step towards such a comprehensive approach.