Authors: Cangelosi, M; Bliss, S; Chang, H; Dubois, R; Lerner, D; Neumann, P; Westrich, K; Cohen, J.
Publication: Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, July 2012
The costs to employers of chronic health conditions on employee productivity are well documented, but few studies have captured the impact that medicines may have on reducing those costs. This study conducted by Tufts Medical Center and the National Pharmaceutical Council demonstrates a novel approach to measure productivity, using depression and arthritis as case studies.
The study, “Imputing Productivity Gains from Clinical Trials,” found that therapies to treat depression yielded a 0.9 percent to 2.2 percent improvement in employee productivity. Taking medicine to treat arthritis or other musculoskeletal pains is associated with productivity gains of up to 0.5 percent.
To arrive at the figures, researchers developed a new method for imputing productivity effects. This method estimates productivity gains associated with changes in clinical measures using the Work Limitations Questionnaire (WLQ) developed by Debra Lerner, MS, PhD, and her colleagues at the Tufts Medical Center Program on Health, Work and Productivity.