The use and performance of productivity scales to evaluate presenteeism in mood disorders

Value Health. 2012 Dec;15(8):1148-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jval.2012.08.2206.


Objective: Mood disorders are associated with a high societal cost, mainly due to presenteeism. The objective of this study was to review the use of 10 instruments that rate presenteeism in mood disorders and to provide recommendations regarding the appropriateness of instruments in different study settings.

Methods: A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify scales used to measure presenteeism, including the World Health Organization Health and Work Performance Questionnaire, the Lam Employment Absence and Productivity Scale, the Sheehan Disability Scale, the Work Limitation Questionnaire, and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. Study characteristics and major results (by symptom level, by treatment arm, correlation to other scales, and use of monetization) were data extracted.

Results: Twenty-nine studies were identified. The Sheehan Disability Scale, the Work Limitation Questionnaire, and Health and Work Performance Questionnaire were the most commonly used instruments. The majority (60%) of scales demonstrated higher presenteeism in individuals with mood disorders than in individuals without. The Lam Employment Absence and Productivity Scale, the Sheehan Disability Scale, and the Work Limitation Questionnaire showed that presenteeism increased with increasing severity of disease. Few studies reported results on presenteeism by treatment, with only small between-treatment differences observed. Good correlations between presenteeism instruments and clinical or quality-of-life scales were reported. Three studies converted results from presenteeism scales into monetary units.

Conclusions: Limited experiential evidence exists comparing the performance of presenteeism scales in mood disorders. Therefore, recommendations for inclusion of a presenteeism tool must be driven by instrument properties (ease of administration, amenability to monetization) and the study type. Future research should focus on the responsiveness of the instrument and on how mood disorders impact self-reported assessment.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Disability Evaluation
  • Efficiency*
  • Humans
  • Models, Economic
  • Mood Disorders / economics*
  • Mood Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*