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Work disability is common among women with fibromyalgia (FM). The aim of the study was to investigate what health problems and work-related difficulties lead to hinders for continued work among women with FM.
A qualitative interview study. Twenty-seven gainfully employed women with FM participated in five focus group interviews. Their median age was 52years, ranging from 33 to 62. The transcribed interviews were analyzed by content analysis.
Health problems and work-related demands were identified. Limited physical capacity, increased stress and an increased need of rest were the major health problems, while physical, psychosocial and work organizational demands were the main work-related problems. Personal factors and factors related to family influenced the strategies used to manage the imbalance between the health problems and work-related demands.
Limited physical capacity and an increased need of rest made it difficult for these women to manage the physical, psychosocial and organizational work demands. Adjustment of the work tasks and work environment were the main factors influencing whether the women with FM could work or not.