The relationship between productivity and health-related QOL: an exploration

Pharmacoeconomics. 2005;23(3):209-18. doi: 10.2165/00019053-200523030-00002.


In economic evaluation of healthcare programmes both QOL and productivity of patients are aspects to be studied. Normally, the former is part of the measurement of the effectiveness of the programme and the latter is part of the measurement of its costs. In this paper we highlight the relationship between QOL and productivity. Two aspects are discussed: (i) the relationship between perceived productivity and health-state valuations; and (ii) the observed relationship between productivity and QOL. The first aspect relates to the fact that in health-state valuations, respondents may consider income changes and ability to work. While this may have important methodological and practical implications, little empirical evidence exists in this area. The second aspect relates to the fact that the observed productivity of individuals is expected to be related to their health-related QOL. Worse health states are expected to be associated with lower productivity. Again, empirical investigation is lacking; however, this relationship may prove important, for instance in modelling productivity costs with use of information on QOL. This paper explores these relationships between productivity and QOL to stimulate debate and research in this area.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Efficiency*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*