BACKGROUND: Total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is increasingly performed among working-aged individuals, highlighting the importance of work-related outcomes. Therefore, the aim is to examine the extent of both activity impairment outside work and work productivity (absenteeism, presenteeism, at-work productivity loss) at 6 and 24 months post-TKA surgery. Additionally, associated risk factors with these outcomes were evaluated.
METHODS: This analysis included 183 patients <70 years undergoing TKA who completed questionnaires pre-operatively and during follow-up. Outcomes were derived from the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire and included activity impairment, absenteeism (sick leave), presenteeism (reduced work performance), and at-work productivity loss (overall work productivity loss). All outcomes were scaled 0%-100%, with higher percentages indicating higher impairments. Covariates included age, gender, education, pain catastrophizing, pain, function, psychological distress, and knee-related and health-related quality of life. Linear and logistic regression was used to assess associations between covariates and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment scores at follow-up.
RESULTS: At 6 months, the mean activity impairment was 22.8% (standard deviation [SD] 23.5) dropping to 17.1% (23.1) by 24 months. Among workers, presenteeism was 18.4% (24.6) and at-work productivity loss was 20.8% (26.1). Both dropped significantly by 24 months to 14.2% (22.4) and 12.9% (20.9), respectively. Absenteeism levels were low at both time points. Pain catastrophizing was associated with all outcomes.
CONCLUSION: This study showed that activity impairment and work productivity loss are common following TKA, decreased significantly over time, but still existed 2 years post-operatively. Those reporting high levels of pain catastrophizing may benefit from targeted rehabilitation guidance to reduce and possibly prevent activity impairment and work productivity loss.