The Estimation and Inclusion of Presenteeism costs in Applied Economic Evaluation: A systematic review

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  • Keele University


Given the significant costs of reduced productivity (presenteeism) in comparison to absenteeism, and overall societal costs, presenteeism has a potentially important role to play in economic evaluations. However, in practice these costs are often excluded. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the current state of practice in the valuation methods and impact of presenteeism in cost of illness studies and economic evaluations.
A structured systematic review was carried out to explore (i) the extent to which presenteeism has been applied in cost of illness studies and economic evaluations and (ii) the overall impact of including presenteeism on overall costs and outcomes. Potential articles were identified by searching Medline, PsycINFO and NHS EED databases. A standard template was developed and used to extract information from economic evaluations and cost of illness studies incorporating presenteeism costs.
A total of 28 studies were included in the systematic review which also demonstrated that presenteeism costs are rarely included in full economic evaluations. Estimation and monetisation methods differed between the instruments. The impact of disease on presenteeism whilst in paid work is high.
The potential impact of presenteeism costs needs to be highlighted and greater consideration should be given to including these in economic evaluations and cost of illness studies. The importance of including presenteeism costs when conducting economic evaluation from a societal perspective should be emphasised in national economic guidelines and more methodological work is required to improve the practical application of presenteeism instruments to generate productivity cost estimates.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-506
JournalValue in Health
Issue number3
Early online date30 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • reduced productivity and productivity costs, economic evaluation, presenteeism