Effect of continued medical therapy on productivity costs for refractory chronic rhinosinusitis

Luke Rudmik, Zachary M. Soler, Timothy L. Smith, Jess C. MacE, Rodney J. Schlosser, Adam S. DeConde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Importance It is estimated that lost productivity related to chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) costs society in excess of $13 billion per year in the United States. Given this tremendous cost to society, it is important to evaluate the effect of current interventions on improving this productivity loss. Objective To define the change in productivity costs in patients with refractory CRS who select continued medical therapy. Design, Setting, and Participants Observational cohort study. Thirty-eight patients with a guideline-based diagnosis of CRS whose initial appropriate medical therapy failed were enrolled from 4 tertiary-level rhinology clinics. The study was conducted from December 6, 2010, to April 23, 2013, and data analysis was performed from December 6, 2010, to June 1, 2015. Interventions Continued medical therapy for CRS. Main Outcomes and Measures The human capital approachwas applied to quantify productivity costs. Absenteeism, presenteeism, and lost leisure time were quantified to define annual lost productive time, which was measured at enrollment (baseline) and at a minimum of 6 months after treatment. Lost productive time was monetized using the annual daily wage rates obtained from the 2012 US National Census and the 2013 US Department of Labor statistics. Results Thirty-eight patients with refractory CRS who selected continued medical therapy had a mean (SD) baseline annual productivity cost of $3464 ($4900) per patient. After continued medical therapy for a mean of 12.8 (4.8) months, productivity costs were $2730 ($3720) (before vs after continued medical therapy productivity cost, P = .74). Mean annual absenteeism was reduced from 5 (12) days to 2 (8) days (P = .02). Mean annual presenteeism (17 [27] days reduced to 15 [23] days; P = .93) and mean annual household days lost (7 [7] days reduced to 6 [6] days; P = .51) were maintained at baseline levels. There were no significant differences in productivity outcomes based on endoscopy, the 22-item Sinonasal Outcome Test score, age, or polyp status (all P ≥ .11). Conclusions and Relevance Patients with refractory CRS often make treatment decisions based on the degree of quality-of-life and productivity impairment. Outcomes from this study suggest that productivity in patients with refractory CRS who have minor reductions in baseline productivity can remain stable with continued medical therapy. Physicians can use this information to inform appropriate patients with CRS of their expected outcomes from continued medical therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-973
Number of pages5
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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