Measuring worker productivity: frameworks and measures

J Rheumatol. 2009 Sep;36(9):2100-9. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.090366.


Worker productivity is a combination of time off work (absenteeism) due to an illness and time at work but with reduced levels of productivity while at work (also known as presenteeism). Both can be gathered with a focus on application as a cost indicator and/or as an outcome state for intervention studies. We review the OMERACT worker productivity groups' progress in evaluating measures of worker productivity for use in arthritis using the OMERACT filter. Attendees at OMERACT 9 strongly endorsed the importance of work as an outcome in arthritis. Consensus was reached (94% endorsement) for fielding a broader array of indicators of absenteeism. Twenty-one measures of at-work productivity loss, ranging from single item indicators to multidimensional scales, were reviewed for measurement properties. No set of at-work productivity measures was endorsed because of variability in the concepts captured, and the need for a better framework for the measurement of worker productivity that also incorporates contextual issues such as job demands and other paid and unpaid life responsibilities. Progress has been made in this area, revealing an ambivalent set of results that directed us back to the need to further define and then contextualize the measurement of worker productivity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis* / physiopathology
  • Arthritis* / psychology
  • Efficiency*
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Workload / standards*