(HealthDay News) – Disability resulting from juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can affect educational attainment and ultimately impact employment in adulthood.

Ajay Malviya, from Wansbeck General Hospital in Ashington, UK, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 103 adults (median age, 24 years; median disease duration, 19 years) attending a JIA continuity clinic. Participants completed questionnaires relating to educational achievement and employment status. The Health Assessment Questionnaire was used to assess functional disability, and those who were employed answered the Work Instability Score.

The researchers found that patients who were in employment and those with oligoarticular JIA had significantly lower functional disability (P=0.03 and 0.02, respectively). JIA subtype did not influence educational achievement (P=0.33), but educational achievement at General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) level had a significant and positive impact on the type of job achieved in later life. Educational achievement at GCSE level positively influenced job stability, whereas disability score negatively affected job stability.

“Educational attainment is key to successful employability and is influenced by functional disability rather than JIA subtype,” the authors write.

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