Measuring the Impact of Arthritis on Worker Productivity: Perspectives, Methodologic Issues, and Contextual Factors

Kenneth Tang, Reuben Escorpizo, Dorcas E. Beaton*, Claire Bombardier, Diane Lacaille, We Zhang, Aslam H. Ants, Annelies Boonen, Suzanne M. M. Verstappen, Rachelle Buchbinder, Richard H. Osborne, Bruno Fautrel, Monique A. Gignac, Peter S. Tugwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Leading up to the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) 10 meeting, the goal of the Worker Productivity Special Interest Group.(WP-SIG) was to Make progress on 3 key issues that relate to the application and interpretation of worker productivity outcomes in arthritis: (1) to review existing conceptual frameworks to help consolidate our intended target and scope of measurement; (2) to examine the methodologic issues associated with our goal of combining multiple indicators of worker productivity loss (e.g., absenteeism <- > presenteeism) into a single comprehensive outcome; and (3) to examine the relevant contextual factors of work and potential implications for the interpretation of scores derived from existing outcome measures. Progress was made on all 3 issues at OMERACT 10. We identified 3 theoretical frameworks that offered unique but converging perspectives on worker productivity loss and/or work disability to provide guidance with classification, selection, and future recommendation of outcomes. Several measurement and analytic approaches to combine absenteeism and presenteeism outcomes were proposed, and the need for further validation of such approaches was also recognized. Finally, participants at the WP-SIG were engaged to brainstorm and provide preliminary endorsements to support key contextual factors of worker productivity through an anonymous "dot voting" exercise. A total of 24 specific factors were identified, with 16 receiving I vote among members, reflecting highly diverse views on specific factors that were considered most important. Moving forward, further progress on these issues remains a priority to help inform the best application of worker productivity outcomes in arthritis research. (J Rheumatol 2011;38:1776-90; doi:10.3899/jrheum.110405)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1776-1790
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011



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