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V. D. Patel, J. Watanabe, J. Strauss, A. Dubey; Productivity Loss in Dry Eye Disease Patients: An Online Survey. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):6247.
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Dry eye is a common tear film disorder, and is associated with limitations in activities of daily living such as reading, working on the computer, and driving at night. Limited research has been done to date to quantify the impact dry eye on productivity. The objective of this study was to measure the correlation between disease severity and work productivity loss in dry eye patients.
Data were collected through an online survey administered to a panel of chronic dry eye patients that reported having physician diagnosed dry eye. Patients were included if they were currently employed, 18 years of age or older, living within the United States, and scored 13 or higher on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI). Productivity loss and daily activity impairment due to dry eye disease was assessed using the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment questionnaire (WPAI). Both OSDI and WPAI are validated questionnaires. Unadjusted, as well as age and gender adjusted, correlations between dry eye severity and productivity loss were assessed.
Forty-three percent (n= 3853) of patients responded to the survey, of which 16% (n=617) qualified for the study. The mean (SD) age of the patients was 54(10) years, 78% were female, and 91% were white. The proportion of patients reporting reduced productivity was 84% for severe patients, 64% for moderate patients, and 54% for mild patients. Patients with higher severity reported significantly greater mean productivity loss (35% for severe vs. 19% for moderate vs. 11% mild; p=0.01). This significance was maintained after adjusting for between group differences in age and gender. The likelihood for experiencing productivity loss was highest among severe patients (OR=5.33, p<0.01), followed by moderate (OR=1.91, p=0.02), as compared to mild patients.
Dry eye is associated with loss of work productivity. Higher severity is associated with greater productivity loss. Proper management of dry eye is essential to relieve patient symptoms, and may also help minimize impact of the disease on work productivity.
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