Productivity losses and their explanatory factors amongst people with impaired vision

on behalf of the Portuguese visual impairment study group (PORVIS-group)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To estimate productivity losses amongst people with impaired vision in Portugal and to investigate explanatory factors associated with non-participation in the labour market. Methods: A total of 546 visually impaired individuals participated in face-to-face interviews. Participants were asked about their workforce participation to determine productivity (employment status questionnaire), their health-related quality of life–HRQoL (EQ-5D) and their visual acuity and visual ability (Activity Inventory). Productivity losses included absenteeism and reduction in workforce participation. Logistic regression was used to determine independent factors associated with participation in the labour market. Results: From the 546 participants, 50% were retired, 47% were of working age and 3% were students. The employment rate was 28%, and the unemployment rate was 21% for the working age sample. For those of working age, productivity losses were estimated at €1.51 million per year, mean of €5496 per participant. The largest contributor to productivity losses was reduced workforce participation, estimated from 159 early retired or unemployed participants. After controlling for visual acuity and ability, younger individuals, with more years of education, without comorbidities and high HRQoL had a higher probability of being employed. Conclusions: Our findings show a high unemployment rate and high productivity losses amongst people with impaired vision. The probability of being employed was associated with education, HRQoL and comorbidities. We speculate that promoting education and health through effective visual rehabilitation programs may help to increase participation in the labour market. These findings can inform decisions to intervene to reduce the burden of vision loss.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-392
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number6
Early online date1 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • employment
  • HRQoL
  • patient reported outcomes measures
  • productivity losses
  • Vision Impairment


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