Background: Patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs), including myelofibrosis (MF), polycythemia vera (PV), and essential thrombocythemia (ET), report high symptom burden that may compromise activities of daily living and quality of life. Results from the MPN Landmark survey suggest that for gainfully employed patients, disease symptoms may impact work productivity or career opportunities. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of MPNs on employment status, work productivity, and daily activities of patients in the United States.

Methods: Adult patients (18-70 years) diagnosed with MF, PV, or ET participated in an online survey conducted between April and July 2016. The survey asked about diagnosis, disease-related history, MPN-related symptoms, functional status, changes in employment status since diagnosis due to MPNs, and work productivity (assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Specific Health Problem Questionnaire, WPAI-SHP V2). Descriptive statistics were used to report MPN-related symptoms, employment changes, and WPAI scores for patients with MPNs who were employed at diagnosis and currently.

Results: A total of 595 patients (MF, n=148; PV, n=284; ET, n=163) completed the survey, with 387 (65.0%) employed full- or part-time at diagnosis (MF, n=90; PV, n=178; ET, n=119). Among patients who were employed at diagnosis, mean (SD) age was 54.3 (10.5) years, 70.0% were female, and 47.8% had a bachelor's degree or higher. Mean (SD) duration of disease was 6.4 (6.6) years. After diagnosis, almost half of the patients (49.9%) experienced ≥1 change in employment resulting from their MPN, one-third (34.1%) had ≥2 different types of changes, and almost one-quarter (22.7%) had ≥3 different types of changes (Table). Almost one-third of patients (31.3%) reported 'leaving a job' due to their condition, which was also the most common employment change. The mean (SD) time from diagnosis to first job change due to MPN disease was 2.4 (5.2) years. Among those currently employed, the mean percentage of overall effects on work productivity due to MPNs were 29.3% for work impairment (MF, 28.4%; PV, 30.0%; ET, 28.6%), 25.7% for impairment while at work (presenteeism; MF, 22.1%; PV, 26.5%; ET, 26.4%), and 6.4% for work time missed (absenteeism; MF, 9.4%; PV, 6.6%; ET, 4.9%). The mean (SD) number of hours of work missed per week was 2.0 (4.9). The mean percentage of daily activity impairment was 31.6% (MF, 32.1%; PV, 32.0%; ET, 30.8%). The effects of MPNs on work productivity and daily activities are similar to those reported by patients with other significant chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (work time missed, 19.1%; impairment while working, 24.0%; activity impairment; 33.3%; Bansback N, et al. Rheumatology. 2012;51:375-84).

Conclusion: MPNs have a substantial negative impact on patients' employment status and work productivity. Half of the employed patients with MPNs surveyed had a change in employment status (eg, leaving job, medical disability leave, early retirement) due to their disease. Moreover, currently employed patients reported a meaningful loss in work productivity due to their MPNs.


Yu:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Parasuraman:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Paranagama:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Naim:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Dubinski:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Bai:Incyte Corporation: Employment, Equity Ownership. Mesa:Novartis: Consultancy; Galena: Consultancy; Ariad: Consultancy; Incyte Corporation: Research Funding; Promedior: Research Funding; Gilead: Research Funding; Celgene: Research Funding; CTI: Research Funding.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.