The objective of this study was to examine the burden of pain on employee health and productivity at a Fortune 100 company headquartered in the northeastern United States to prioritize target areas for reducing this burden.
An electronic survey was conducted in late 2004, which produced a reasonably representative national sample of 1039 active employee respondents.
A total of 28.6% of respondents met the study definition for pain. Pain was linked to: 1) drops of more than 45% and 23%, respectively, in Overall Physical and Mental Health; 2) a fivefold increase in health-induced limitations in work performance; and 3) nearly three and two thirds workdays lost to presenteeism and absenteeism over a 4-week period. Afflicted workers displayed considerable room for improvement in their capacity for pain control and management.
The prevalence of pain and its impact on those with the condition combine to make it an area of much opportunity for improving workforce health and productivity. Musculoskeletal diseases offer a promising initial target for corporate intervention.
From The Harris Allen Group, Brookline, Massachusetts (Dr Allen); CorSolutions, Poway, California (Dr Hubbard); and the Institute for Health & Productivity Management, Scottsdale, Arizona (Mr. Sullivan).
Address correspondence to: Harris Allen, PhD, The Harris Allen Group, 41 Naples Road, Brookline, MA 02446; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the sponsorship of the Institute for Health & Productivity Management (IHPM) and the financial support of a nonrestricted educational grant to IHPM by Purdue Pharma, Stamford, Connecticut.