Review Article


, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 165-184

First online:

A Review of Health-Related Workplace Productivity Loss Instruments

  • Jennifer H. LoflandAffiliated withOffice of Health Policy and Clinical Outcomes, Thomas Jefferson University Email author 
  • , Laura PizziAffiliated withOffice of Health Policy and Clinical Outcomes, Thomas Jefferson University
  • , Kevin D. FrickAffiliated withJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management, Health Services Research and Development Center

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The objective of this review was to identify health-related workplace productivity loss survey instruments, with particular emphasis on those that capture a metric suitable for direct translation into a monetary figure.

A literature search using Medline, HealthSTAR, PsycINFO and Econlit databases between 1966 and 2002, and a telephone-administered survey of business leaders and researchers, were conducted to identify health-related workplace productivity measurement survey instruments. This review was conducted from the societal perspective. Each identified instrument was reviewed for the following: (i) reliability; (ii) content validity; (iii) construct validity; (iv) criterion validity; (v) productivity metric(s); (vi) instrument scoring technique; (vii) suitability for direct translation into a monetary figure; (viii) number of items; (ix) mode(s) of administration; and (x) disease state(s) in which it had been tested.

Reliability and validity testing have been performed for 8 of the 11 identified surveys. Of the 11 instruments identified, six captured metrics that are suitable for direct translation into a monetary figure. Of those six, one instrument measured absenteeism, while the other five measured both absenteeism and presenteeism. All of the identified instruments except for one were available as paper, self-administered questionnaires and many were available in languages other than English.

This review provides a comprehensive overview of the published, peerreviewed survey instruments available to measure health-related workplace productivity loss. As the field of productivity measurement matures, tools may be developed that will allow researchers to accurately calculate lost productivity costs when performing cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses. Using data captured by these instruments, society and healthcare decision makers will be able to make better informed decisions concerning the value of the medications, disease management and health promotion programmes that individuals receive.