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Pearce, AM,Hanly, P,Timmons, A,Walsh, PM,O'Neill, C,O'Sullivan, E,Gooberman-Hill, R,Thomas, AA,Gallagher, P,Sharp, L
Applied Health Economics and Health Policy
Productivity Losses Associated with Head and Neck Cancer Using the Human Capital and Friction Cost Approaches
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Objectives Previous studies suggest that productivity losses associated with head and neck cancer (HNC) are higher than in other cancers. These studies have only assessed a single aspect of productivity loss, such as temporary absenteeism or premature mortality, and have only used the Human Capital Approach (HCA). The Friction Cost Approach (FCA) is increasingly recommended, although has not previously been used to assess lost production from HNC. The aim of this study was to estimate the lost productivity associated with HNC due to different types of absenteeism and premature mortality, using both the HCA and FCA.Methods Survey data on employment status were collected from 251 HNC survivors in Ireland and combined with population-level survival estimates and national wage data. The cost of temporary and permanent time off work, reduced working hours and premature mortality using both the HCA and FCA were calculated.Results Estimated total productivity losses per employed person of working age were EUR253,800 using HCA and EUR6800 using FCA. The main driver of HCA costs was premature mortality (38 % of total) while for FCA it was temporary time off (73 % of total).Conclusions The productivity losses associated with head and neck cancer are substantial, and return to work assistance could form an important part of rehabilitation. Use of both the HCA and FCA approaches allowed different drivers of productivity losses to be identified, due to the different assumptions of the two methods. For future estimates of productivity losses, the use of both approaches may be pragmatic.
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