Dry eye disease and work productivity loss in visual display users: the Osaka study

Am J Ophthalmol. 2014 Feb;157(2):294-300. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2013.10.014. Epub 2013 Nov 1.


Purpose: To estimate the impact of dry eye disease (DED) on work performance and productivity in office workers using visual display terminals (VDTs).

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: Six hundred seventy-two Japanese young and middle-aged office workers using VDTs completed a questionnaire that was designed to measured at-work performance deficits and productivity losses using the Japanese version of the Work Limitations Questionnaire, completed by e-mail. Using the Japanese dry eye diagnostic criteria, respondents were classified into 3 groups: definite DED, probable DED, and non DED.

Results: Of the 672 office workers, 553 subjects (82.3%), including 366 men and 187 women, completed the questionnaire and underwent clinical evaluation. As for the total workplace productivity loss, the non DED group demonstrated a loss of 3.56%, those with probable DED demonstrated a loss of 4.06%, and those with definite DED demonstrated a loss of 4.82%, indicating significantly worse performance and productivity (P = .014, trend test). For the 4 subscales, DED was associated with significantly lower on-the-job time management (P = .009, trend test) and combined mental performance and interpersonal functioning (P = .011, trend test). After controlling for age, sex, VDT working hours, and diagnosis of DED, time management, physical demands, and mental and interpersonal functioning showed a significant relationship to DED (each P > .05). Annual DED productivity losses were estimated to be $6160 per employee when measured by total production and $1178 per employee calculated by wage.

Conclusions: This study indicated that there is a significant impact of DED on the total productivity of Japanese VDT users.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asians / statistics & numerical data
  • Computer Terminals / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / diagnosis
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / economics*
  • Efficiency, Organizational / economics*
  • Efficiency, Organizational / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis
  • Occupational Diseases / economics*
  • Office Automation / economics
  • Office Automation / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life
  • Sickness Impact Profile
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Workplace* / economics
  • Young Adult