Background: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease has wide-ranging effects on patients' lives.
Aim: To review systematically the effects of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease on work productivity.
Methods: Studies of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and work productivity were identified in a systematic literature search and their results were valued in US dollars using the human capital method. Work productivity loss was defined as absence from work (absenteeism) plus reduced effectiveness while working (presenteeism).
Results: Eight eligible studies were included. Reported work productivity loss among individuals with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease ranged from 6% to 42% and was primarily because of presenteeism (6-40%) rather than absenteeism (<1% to 7%). Reported losses were greatest in patients experiencing sleep disturbance because of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, and lowest in individuals from the general population taking appropriate prescription medication. Work productivity impairment correlated with symptom severity and responded to acid-suppressive therapy. Assuming a 40-h working week and average wages in the US, the weekly mean productivity loss per employee with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease can be estimated between 2.4 (62 dollars) and 16.6 h (430 dollars), depending on the population studied.
Conclusions: Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease has a substantial impact on employee productivity, primarily by impairing productivity while working. Further studies are needed to confirm that this impact can be decreased by acid-suppressive therapy.