Costs of Workplace Productivity Loss in Patients with Connective Tissue Disease–associated Interstitial Lung Disease Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • Rationale: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) develops in a large percentage of patients with connective tissue disease (CTD) and is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Patients with CTD-associated ILD (CTD-ILD) often present at a young age, suggesting that ILD likely impacts workplace productivity.Objectives: We aimed to determine the employment rate and workplace productivity loss, along with its associated factors and estimated costs, in patients with fibrotic CTD-ILD.Methods: Patients with fibrotic CTD-ILD from the six centers of the Canadian Registry for Pulmonary Fibrosis were eligible. Health-related productivity loss was assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire. Proposed factors associated with low workplace productivity were forced into a multivariable regression model. Average productivity loss in hours/week was used to calculate the costs of productivity loss based on hourly wages obtained from national census data matched for age and sex. Workplace productivity loss outcomes were compared between patients with CTD-ILD and patients with a non-CTD fibrotic ILD.Results: Of 375 eligible patients with fibrotic CTD-ILD, 113 (30%) were employed. Productivity loss was reported by 59% of employed patients, with a mean loss of 9.4 ± 1.2 hours/week, including 3.9 ± 0.9 hours/week from absenteeism and 5.5 ± 0.7 hours/week from presenteeism. Employment among patients 25-54 years of age with fibrotic CTD-ILD was 27% lower than that in the matched general Canadian population (56% vs. 83%; P < 0.001). Employment among patients ≥55 years of age with CTD-ILD was 17% lower than that in the matched population (19% vs. 36%; P < 0.001). Workplace productivity loss was not associated with respiratory symptoms or lung physiology. Annual costs of productivity loss were calculated at 13,593 Canadian dollars per employee with fibrotic CTD-ILD. Workplace productivity loss was similar in patients with fibrotic CTD-ILD and those with non-CTD fibrotic ILD.Conclusions: Patients with fibrotic CTD-ILD frequently report workplace productivity loss, which is unexplained by respiratory symptoms or lung physiology and is associated with significant costs.


  • Algamdi, Mohmmed
  • Sadatsafavi, Mohsen
  • Fisher, Jolene H
  • Morisset, Julie
  • Johannson, Kerri A
  • Fell, Charlene D
  • Kolb, Martin Rainer
  • Manganas, Hélène
  • Cox, Gerry
  • Gershon, Andrea S
  • Halayko, Andrew J
  • Hambly, Nathan
  • Khalil, Nasreen
  • Shapera, Shane
  • To, Teresa
  • Wilcox, Pearce G
  • Guler, Sabina
  • Ryerson, Christopher J

publication date

  • September 2020