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The impact of laryngeal disorders on work-related dysfunction

Authors

  • Seth M. Cohen MD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Duke Voice Care Center, Division of Otolaryngology –Head and Neck Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    • DUMC Box 3805, Durham, NC, 27710
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  • Jaewhan Kim PhD,

    1. Division of Public Health and Study Design and Biostatistics Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Nelson Roy PhD, CCC-SLP,

    1. Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
    2. Division of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah
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  • Carl Asche PhD, MBA,

    1. Center for Outcomes Research, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, Illinois
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  • Mark Courey MD

    1. Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of California–San Francisco, San Francisco, California, U.S.A
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  • Presented at the American Laryngological Association Meeting, San Diego, California, U.S.A., April 18–19, 2012.

  • This study was funded by the American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. The authors have no other funding, financial relationships, or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Abstract

Objectives/Hypothesis:

To determine the short-term disability (STD) and lost work productivity related to laryngeal disorders.

Study Design:

A retrospective analysis of a national database of work absence and STD claims was performed.

Methods:

Patients with 12 months of follow-up who had an STD claim specifically linked to a dysphonia diagnosis based on ICD-9 codes were identified during the period of January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2008. Patient age, sex, and diagnosis and the total number of work days absent were determined. Using the mean national hourly wage, productivity losses in terms of lost wages were calculated.

Results:

Of the 18,466 unique patients with an STD claim, 386 (2.1%) had an STD claim due to a laryngeal disorder. The mean age was 45.9 years (standard deviation, 9.6) with 53.2% male. The mean number of work days absent was 39.2 days (95% confidence interval: 31.9–46.5). Total STD payments in 2008 dollars were $647,269.30 with a mean per person in 12 months of $3,406.68. Total and mean lost wages in 12 months were $843,198.72 and $4,437.89, respectively. Patients with laryngeal cancer had the most days absent and highest total STD payment.

Conclusions:

Laryngeal disorders lead to work-related disability with STD and productivity losses and represent a significant societal burden. Managing work limitations from laryngeal disorders is an important public health goal. Laryngoscope, 2012

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