Understanding the Challenges and Needs of Chronically Ill Workers

By |2024-06-11T16:10:11-04:00June 11th, 2024|Categories: Chronic Illness|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

A study completed just months ago by Amazon and the Harvard Business Review provides us with some interesting data about working people who are suffering chronic illnesses during the post-Covid age.

Entitled How People Experience Chronic Illness at Work and published in May, the study was conducted by Katie Bach, MBA, MSc, the Director of Science Partnerships and Impact at Amazon, and Gretchen Gavett, a senior editor at Harvard Business Review.

Here at PROVOKE Health, a functional medicine and integrative healthcare practice dedicated to collaborating with patients to rekindle their confidence and improve their resiliency, we create and co-manage personalized plans of care that address or prevent complex health problems, including chronic illnesses. Bach and Gavett’s study is of particular interest because it appears to be the first to explore how recent chronic illnesses such as those discussed below impact workers, and what actions employers can provide to support them better.

Image for Survey: How People Experience Chronic Illness at WorkOur patients often tell us about their work-related concerns due to conditions that include long Covid, myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), which are reshaping the workplace landscape in many parts of the country. These conditions, along with mold-related illness and environmentally acquired illness, often lead to fluctuating symptoms and unpredictable energy levels, thus hindering consistent performance at work.

At PROVOKE Health, we understand the complexities of chronic illnesses and are dedicated to diagnosing and treating these conditions in order for our patients to regain their health and resilience. So when a study comes along that offers additional insight into these topics, we’re listening.

What appears to be the impact of chronic illness at work? Here is what the study reveals:

The Impact of Chronic Illness at Work

Experiences Vary Dramatically: The survey reveals a stark contrast between the perspectives of chronically ill workers and their non-ill colleagues. While 60 percent of non-ill respondents believe their organizations are supportive, only 36 percent of those with chronic illnesses agree. This discrepancy highlights a critical gap in understanding and support within workplaces.

Daily Struggles: Chronically ill workers report a range of symptoms that vary daily, making consistent performance challenging. One respondent in the study described the fluctuation as follows:

Long Covid means that one day I can work at almost full capacity and the next I can barely get out of bed.”

At PROVOKE Health, we specialize in understanding these fluctuations and developing personalized treatment plans to help manage symptoms. And often, we’re able to Continue reading…