Explorative evaluation of the impact of severe premenstrual disorders on work absenteeism and productivity

Womens Health Issues. 2010 Jan-Feb;20(1):58-65. doi: 10.1016/j.whi.2009.09.005.


Purpose: To assess the effects of premenstrual disorders on work productivity and absenteeism in the multinational Impact study.

Methods: Women aged 15-45 years were screened for suspected premenstrual dysphoric disorders (PMDD) and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and invited to participate in this web-based study. Based on the Daily Record of Severity of Problems (DRSP) questionnaire, symptoms were assessed prospectively over 2 months. Participants were categorized as having no perceived symptoms/mild PMS or moderate-to-severe PMS/PMDD based on a validated algorithm. Work productivity impairment and absenteeism were assessed retrospectively using the Premenstrual Symptoms Screening Tool (PSST) and a modified version of the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire. Work productivity impairment was also assessed prospectively over 2 months using the DRSP questionnaire.

Results: Overall 1,477 women started the study-of these, 822 (56%) completed the study as planned and represent the full analysis set. Employed women with moderate-to-severe PMS/PMDD had higher rate of productivity impairment on the modified version of the WPAI questionnaire (values >/=7) relative to those with no perceived symptoms/mild PMS (adjusted odds ratio, 3.12; 95% confidence interval, 1.75-5.57). Similar outcomes were obtained for impairment of working productivity or efficiency using the PSST scale (value 4). The mean number of days on the DRSP with at least moderate reduction in productivity or efficiency in daily routine was higher for women with moderate-to-severe PMS/PMDD (5.6 vs. 1.1). Women with moderate-to-severe PMS/PMDD had a higher rate of absenteeism (>8hours per cycle; 14.2% vs. 6.0%).

Conclusion: Moderate-to-severe PMS/PMDD seems to be associated with work productivity impairment and increased absenteeism, and thus poses a potential economic burden.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Algorithms
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Efficiency
  • Employment / economics*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Germany / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / economics*
  • Premenstrual Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women's Health / economics
  • Young Adult