Introduction: Lost productivity accounts for a significant part of the costs caused by gastrointestinal symptoms. We aimed to describe selfreported productivity in patients presenting with dyspepsia.
Material and methods: Data were sourced from a randomized, double-blinded study of two weeks of esomeprazole 40 mg or placebo in 805 primary-care patients with uninvestigated dyspepsia. Work productivity was tested using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. Treatment effect on work productivity loss was tested according to the likelihood of treatment response.
Results: A total of 401/805 employed patients were included in the analysis. The average work productivity loss in the past seven days was 10.5 working hours/week. The productivity loss grew with increasing severity of symptoms at baseline. Following two weeks of treatment, the mean improvement in work productivity was significantly higher for both absenteeism (1 hour versus 0.1 hour, p < 0.05) and presenteeism (5.3 hours versus 4.3 hours, p < 0.05) in patients treated with esomeprazole versus placebo. The most substantial improvement was seen in patients who, based on baseline symptoms, were assessed to be likely treatment responders.
Conclusion: Dyspepsia symptoms represent a significant economic burden in terms of lost productivity. The RESPONSE algorithm is successful in determining which patients will benefit from acid suppression in terms of enhanced productivity.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00318968.