Researchers have found a significant correlation between the number and severity of endometriosis symptoms and a loss of time and productivity at work and at home with household chores in women with the disease.
The study, titled “The Effect of Endometriosis Symptoms on Absenteeism and Presenteeism in the Workplace and at Home,” was published in the Journal of Managed Care and Specialty Pharmacy.
Endometriosis is a chronic condition that tends to affect women during their prime working years, generally in their 30s and 40s. It is a painful condition that has been found by multiple studies to negatively affect the quality of life of women as well as their productivity.
There is currently a lack of research regarding the link between individual symptoms associated with endometriosis and productivity as it relates to employment and home-related chores.
Researchers at AbbVie conducted an online survey of American women ages 18-49 both with and without endometriosis. Survey respondents were asked for demographic and clinical data. For those with endometriosis, they also had to rate the severity of each individual symptom as “have not had the symptom in the past month,” “mild,” “moderate,” or “severe.”
Participants also completed a health-related productivity questionnaire to determine presenteeism and absenteeism for both employment and household work. Presenteeism refers to productivity while at work and absenteeism refers to missed time at work.
Of the 5,879 women who met the inclusion criteria, 1,318 were found to have endometriosis. Among the demographics, 77.2% of the women were white, 59.3% of women were married or in a civil union, their mean age was 34.6 years, and 59.1% were employed full- or part-time.
Results from the survey demonstrated that women who had endometriosis lost an average of 5.3 hours per week due to employment presenteeism (reduced productivity) and 1.1 hours due to employment absenteeism (missed time at work). And, women with endometriosis lost an average of 2.3 hours of productivity in the household and 2.5 hours of household absenteeism.
For patients who had higher symptom severity, the hourly loss of both employment and household chores was even greater. There was a loss of 1.9 employment hours in patients with mild symptoms compared to 15.8 hours in patients with severe symptoms. Similarly, there was a loss of 2.5 total household hours versus 10.1 hours for patients with mild and severe symptoms, respectively.
Additionally, patients who experienced three endometriosis-related symptoms lost a significantly higher number of employment hours due to both absenteeism and presenteeism than those with just one or two symptoms.
Some symptoms such as pelvic pain, cramping during menstrual period, pain during sex, irregular periods, abdominal pain, bloating, and fatigue were associated with a higher probability of loss of employment and household hours compared to other symptoms.
Findings from this study indicate that there is a significant relationship between the number and severity of endometriosis symptoms and loss of overall employment and household productivity due to absenteeism and presenteeism.
These results underscore the importance of addressing the need for strategies to help women and employers manage this painful condition and decrease the loss of productivity.
“The findings indicate a need for guidance strategies to help women and employers manage endometriosis in order to reduce productivity loss,” researchers wrote.
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