Background: The aims of the present study are twofold. First, to describe labor participation rates of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the Netherlands compared with the total Dutch population and to people with chronic illness in general. Second, to explore differences in labor participation among IBD patients and assess the potential impact of a number of characteristics of IBD patients on labor participation.
Methods: Data were obtained from a nationwide survey of individuals with IBD in the Netherlands. In all, 1115 respondents completed the survey. Univariate, bivariate, and multinomial logistic regression analysis were conducted to identify factors predicting the number of hours worked by IBD patients.
Results: People with IBD do not participate less often in the labor market compared with the total Dutch population age 15 to 64. However, male patients age 45 to 64 less often have a fulltime job compared with age- and gender-matched reference groups from the general population. People with IBD are more likely to participate in the labor market than people with chronic illness in general. Gender, age, duration of illness, having a stoma or pouch, comorbidity, vitality, pain, and perceived personal control appear to be significant predictors of the number of hours worked.
Conclusions: People with IBD in the Netherlands are as often employed as the general population, but among some gender/age categories fewer people work fulltime. Besides sociodemographic and illness characteristics, the perception of personal control over the illness explains differences in the number of hours worked. Strengthening IBD patients' control perceptions deserves attention.