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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Improving the methods to measure work productivity loss in caregivers Gelfand, Aaron


This study aimed to: (a) adapt the previously validated Valuation of Lost Productivity (VOLP) questionnaire for people with health problems, to a caregiver version to measure work productivity loss associated with caregiving responsibilities, (b) evaluate measurement feasibility and validity of an online version of the caregiver VOLP questionnaire, and (c) compare two caregiver populations based on whether they worked from home. A mixed methods design was utilized. Qualitative methods were used for VOLP adaptation and online conversion. Quantitative methods were used to evaluate feasibility and validity of the online VOLP and compare the two caregiver groups. The Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire for caregivers was included to compare its outcomes and their correlations with VOLP outcomes. When adapting the VOLP for caregivers, our qualitative analysis showed the importance of adding three major components: caregiving time, work productivity loss related to volunteer activities and caregivers’ lost job opportunities. A total of 382 caregivers who completed online survey were included in our final quantitative analysis. We found small Spearman rank correlations between VOLP and WPAI, observing a larger correlation between absenteeism [r = 0.49 (95% confidence interval: 0.37–0.60)] than presenteeism [r = 0.36 (0.24–0.47)]. Correlations between VOLP outcomes and total caregiving hours were larger for absenteeism [r = 0.38 (0.27–0.47)] than presenteeism [r = 0.22 (0.10–0.34)]. Correlations between WPAI outcomes and total caregiving hours were smaller for absenteeism [r = 0.27 (0.15–0.38)] than presenteeism [r = 0.35 (0.23–0.46)]. When comparing caregivers who are working from home and those not working from home, differences in education, occupations and caregiver health status were observed. The VOLP absenteeism and presenteeism outcomes were significantly higher in caregivers working from home than caregivers not working from home, with small effect sizes from 0.16 to 0.19. This was not the case with the WPAI outcomes. The study provides evidence of the feasibility and preliminary validity evidence of the adapted VOLP caregiver questionnaire in measuring work productivity loss due to caregiving responsibilities, when compared with the results for WPAI and results from the previous patient-VOLP validation study. Supplementary materials available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/80634

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