Examining productivity losses associated with health related quality of life using patient data (2014)

Economic evaluation combines information on costs and benefits to inform priority setting in health care and to inform decisions on the reimbursement of health care interventions. Costs are typically the direct costs of providing health care but can also include indirect costs which occur as a result of having poor health. One such indirect cost is the cost associated with lost productivity in both paid and unpaid work. The inclusion of productivity costs in economic evaluation has the potential to have an impact on the decisions on whether or not to recommend or fund an intervention.

Productivity loss has been measured by asking patients to report the time off work/normal activities due to poor health. However, this information is not collected in all trials or observational studies. A different approach would be to predict the number of days off work/normal activities associated with different levels of health related quality of life (HRQoL). This approach has been undertaken using Dutch respondents based on hypothetical health states (Krol et al, 2013) but not UK patient data.