The associations of multimorbidity with health-related productivity loss in a large and diverse public sector setting

Lili Wang, Fiona Cocker, Michelle Kilpatrick, Petr Otahal, Lei Si, Andrew J. Palmer, Kristy Sanderson

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Objective: To evaluate absenteeism, presenteeism, and total lost productive time (LPT) associated with multimorbidity. 

Methods: Cross-sectional data from 3228 state-government employees from Tasmania were collected in 2013. The validated measures of absenteeism, presenteeism, and LPT were obtained from employees' self-reported data over a 28-day period. Analyses were stratified by sex. Negative binomial models were used to estimate the associations between multimorbidity and LPT. 

Results: The average health-related total LPT was 1.2 (standard deviation [SD]=2.4) and 1.7 (SD=3.5) days for men and women with multimorbidity, respectively. Women (rate ratio [RR]=2.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.8 to 4.9) and men (RR=4.4, 95%CI 3.0 to 6.2) with 4+ chronic conditions were significantly more likely to report LPT compared with those without any chronic conditions. 

Conclusion: We found multimorbidity is of concern within the workforce, with a positive association of multimorbidity and LPT observed, and significant differences in LPT between men and women reporting multimorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)528-535
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • absenteeism
  • lost productive time
  • multimorbidity
  • presenteeism

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