Abstract and Introduction
Purpose of Review: Health-related work disability has been increasingly recognized as an important component of the economic and societal burden of a disease. The purpose of this review is to summarize recently published data pertaining to the impact of rhinitis on work disability.
Recent Findings: Recent studies have investigated the impact of rhinitis on both the amount of time missed from work (absenteeism) and the level of work effectiveness while on the job (presenteeism). These studies have shown that rhinitis has a rather modest effect on absenteeism, with estimated productivity losses of approximately 1-4% resulting from missed work time. By contrast, rhinitis is associated with substantial impairment in at-work performance. Estimates of lost productivity attributable to reduced on-the-job effectiveness ranged from 11 to 40%. The impact of rhinitis on work productivity is affected by symptom severity, and allergen exposure, and it can be reduced by second-generation antihistamines.
Summary: The impact of rhinitis on work productivity should be further characterized and taken into account for establishing cost-effective management strategies.
Rhinitis was often regarded as a trivial condition until the pioneering studies, published in the mid 1990s, by Professor Jean Bousquet and co-workers. These investigators provided convincing evidence that rhinitis can exert a substantial impact on the physical, social, and emotional functioning of patients. In addition, there is accumulating evidence indicating that rhinitis may interfere with work performance, since the condition is associated with sleep disturbances, daytime fatigue, and impairments in cognitive and psychomotor abilities. These impairments can be further aggravated by sedative H1-antihistamines.
Work disability resulting from rhinitis has, however, received little attention until recent years. Considering the scattered number of publications that have addressed this topic, the current review aims to summarize relevant articles published from 2000 to 2007.