Determining the Costs of Low-Back Pain Associated Sick Leave in the Dutch Workforce in the Period 2015 to 2017

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate the costs of low-back pain associated sick leave of workers in the Netherlands from 2015 to 2017.

METHODS: We used longitudinal data form a large occupational health service regarding sick leave (registered by occupational physicians). Costs of sick leave due to low-back pain were estimated using the human capital approach, considering society and company perspectives.

RESULTS: A total of 7901 low-back pain episodes from 7161 unique workers were analyzed. We estimated an average episode of low-back pain sick leave was 129.42 days in duration and costed €16,191. The total extrapolated sick leave costs were estimated to be €244.7 million in 2017.

CONCLUSIONS: Low-back pain remains to be a persistent problem in the working population, as it causes workers to take sick leave for considerable periods of time with considerable associated economic consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e367-e372
JournalJournal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

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