Prevalence of sickness presenteeism and associated reasons in patients with hand eczema in the Netherlands: A cross-sectional survey

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Background: Hand eczema is one of the most prevalent occupational diseases. Possible occupational consequences of this disease include sickness absence and sickness presenteeism (attending work despite being ill). Sickness presenteeism can cause increased health problems and might be associated with sickness absenteeism in the long term. Furthermore, continuous work impairment due to presenteeism could eventually cause even more aggregate productivity loss than sickness absence (Collins JJ, Baase CM, Sharda CE et al. The assessment of chronic health conditions on work performance, absence, and total economic impact for employers. J Occup Environ Med 2005; 47: 547-557). For hand eczema, sickness presenteeism has been studied only in Dutch healthcare professionals, but not in a general patient population. Our aim was to examine the extent of presenteeism - as measured by the person's own assessment of their state of health - and to investigate the associations between work characteristics and demographic factors and presenteeism in patients with hand eczema. Furthermore, we aimed to gain insights into the reasons for presenteeism in patients with hand eczema and into factors associated with different reasons. Also, absenteeism was assessed. This is a retrospective questionnaire-based, cross-sectional study. The study population consists of a retrospectively recruited cohort of adult patients (age 20-67 years) with a diagnosis of hand eczema, made by a dermatologist in the past 5 years. Eligible subjects received a postal questionnaire. Furthermore, newly diagnosed patients with hand eczema in our outpatient clinic were actively approached to fill out the questionnaire digitally on site. For both groups, current and worst severity was assessed, as was the average severity over the past year, using a self-administered photo guide (Hald M, Veien NK, Laurberg G, Johansen JD. Severity of hand eczema assessed by patients and dermatologist using a photographic guide. Br J Dermatol 2007; 156: 77-80). The preliminary results are expected in the summer of 2016, particularly from the patient group that was approached with a postal questionnaire.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92
Number of pages1
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2016


  • absenteeism
  • adult
  • chemical binding
  • clinical study
  • cross-sectional study
  • dermatologist
  • diagnosis
  • doctor patient relation
  • employer
  • hand eczema
  • human
  • job performance
  • Netherlands
  • outpatient department
  • presenteeism
  • prevalence
  • productivity
  • questionnaire
  • summer
  • young adult

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