Unplanned work absence following outpatient colonoscopy

Michael K. Newcomer, Michael J Shaw, Diane M. Williams, Paul S. Jowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The authors investigated the incidence of unplanned work absence the day following outpatient colonoscopy and examined factors associated with missing work. A total of 250 patients were studied. Patient demographic information, the length of the procedure, time of day the exam was performed, and the amount and type of sedation medication used was obtained at the time of the procedure. The incidence and reasons for missing work were elicited via a phone survey 7 days postprocedure. Ten patients (4%) had an unplanned work absence the day after their colonoscopy. No complications were noted. Feeling sleepy and weak or abdominal pain and bloating were the most common reasons for missing work. In univariate analyses, patients with an unplanned work absence were more likely to be younger (p = 0.009), and female (p = 0.02) compared with patients who returned to work. No statistically significant differences were found with regard to the amount of sedation medication used, the length of the procedure, or whether the procedure was performed in the morning or afternoon. Unplanned work absence is low following outpatient colonoscopy in a community-based practice. Female gender and younger age are associated with a higher likelihood of missing work. Postprocedure work absence may have a greater economic impact than procedure-related complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-78
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of clinical gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1999


  • Colonoscopy
  • Outcomes
  • Work absence


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