Effect of influenza-like illness and other wintertime respiratory illnesses on worker productivity: The child and household influenza-illness and employee function (CHIEF) study

Liisa A. Palmer, Matthew D. Rousculp, Stephen S. Johnston, Parthiv J. Mahadevia, Kristin L. Nichol

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38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Acute respiratory illnesses (ARI), comprising influenza-like illness (ILI) and other wintertime respiratory illnesses (ORI), impose substantial health and economic burdens on the United States. Little is known about the impact of ILI among household members (HHM), particularly children, on employees' productivity. To quantify the impact of employee and HHM-ILI and ARI on employee productivity, a prospective, observational cohort study was conducted among employees from three large US companies. Employees who had at least one child living at home (N= 2013) completed a monthly survey during the 2007-2008 influenza season, reporting the number of days missed from work and hours of presenteeism due to: (1) personal ILI, (2) HHM-ILI, and (3) personal and HHM-ARI. Employee ILI ranged from 4.8% (April) to 13.5% (February). Employees reporting ILI reported more absences than employees not reporting ILI (72% vs 30%, respectively; P< 0.001). Overall, 61.2% of employees surveyed had at least one child with an ILI; these employees missed more days of work due to HHM illness than employees without an ARI-ill child (0.9 days vs 0.3 days, respectively; P< 0.001). Employees with ILI were less productive, on average, for 4.8. h each day that they worked while sick, 2.5. h of which was attributable to ILI. HHM illnesses accounted for 17.7% (1389/7868 days) of employee absenteeism, over half of which was due to HHM-ARI. ILI causes a significant amount of employee absence. Household members, particularly children, comprise a sizable proportion of general illness and injury-related employee absences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5049-5056
Number of pages8
JournalVaccine
Volume28
Issue number31
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Acute respiratory illness
  • Burden of illness
  • Children
  • Employee productivity
  • Influenza-like illness

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