Institute of Health & Society

Project Items

Working together: the role of specialist health care teams during transition to improve employment outcomes in young people with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Many individuals with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) have ongoing active disease into adult life. The management of JIA has changed markedly in recent decades with improving prognosis. Employment and work stability are deemed as important long term outcomes of JIA although the literature reports increased unemployment rates. The impact of chronic illness throughout adolescence is likely to impact on vocational readiness which is important to optimise employment; the challenges that young people face are likely to be different to those of adults who develop rheumatic disease beyond adolescent years. Transitional care programmes aim to facilitate optimal health outcomes and health care providers need to understand and respond to the challenges experienced by young people. Using standard qualitative methodologies we aim to identify, describe and understand the challenges faced by young people and adults with JIA and a spectrum of employment outcomes, and identify support they have or would find helpful to surmount these. We aim to utilise the large cohort of young people and adults with JIA in Newcastle and also recruit young people with JIA in other centres across the UK (Sheffield, Birmingham). We will also explore the challenges through the experiences and perspective of health care providers working in transitional care. This knowledge will inform strategies to be integrated into existing transitional care programmes to provide support and facilitate dialogue with young people, optimising their vocational and career planning and ultimately improving employment outcomes.