Consequences of Interstitial Cystitis/Bladder Pain Symptoms on Women's Work Participation and Income

Results from a National Household Sample

Published in: The Journal of Urology, v. 191, no. 1, Jan. 2014, p. 83-88

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2014

by Megan K. Beckett, Marc N. Elliott, J. Quentin Clemens, Brett Ewing, Sandra H. Berry

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PURPOSE: We describe differences in work participation and income by bladder symptom impact and comorbidities among women with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Cross-sectional data from 2,767 respondents younger than 65 years identified with interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome symptoms were analyzed. The data were taken from the RAND Interstitial Cystitis Epidemiology (RICE) survey, and included retrospective self-reports of interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome impact, severity, years since onset, related comorbidities (depressive symptomatology, number of conditions), work participation and income, and personal characteristics. Multiple regressions predicted 5 current work outcomes of works now, kept from working by pain, missed work days, days worked when bothered by symptoms and real income change since symptom onset. RESULTS: Controlling for work status at symptom onset and personal characteristics, greater bladder symptom impact predicted a greater likelihood of not now working, kept more days from working by pain, missed more work days and working more days with symptoms. More depressive symptomatology and greater number of comorbidities predicted reduced work participation. Women experienced no growth in real income since symptom onset. Measures of symptom severity were not associated with any of the economic outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: Greater interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome symptom impact, depressive symptomatology and count of comorbidities (but not symptom severity) were each associated with less work participation and leveling of women's long-term earnings. Management of bladder symptom impact on nonwork related activities and depressive symptomatology may improve women's work outcomes.

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