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Healthcare utilization and lost productivity due to infectious gastroenteritis, results from a national cross-sectional survey Australia 2008–2009

  • Y. CHEN (a1), L. FORD (a1), G. HALL (a1), T. DOBBINS (a1) and M. KIRK (a1)...

Summary

The aim of this study was to estimate the healthcare usage and loss of productivity due to gastroenteritis in Australia using the National Gastroenteritis Survey II. In 2008–2009, 7578 participants across Australia were surveyed about infectious gastroenteritis by telephone interview. A gastroenteritis case was defined as a person experiencing ⩾3 loose stools and/or ⩾2 vomits in a 24-h period, excluding cases with a non-infectious cause for their symptoms, such as pregnancy or consumption of alcohol. Lost productivity was considered any lost time from full- or part-time paid work due to having gastroenteritis or caring for someone with the illness. Interference with other daily activities was also examined along with predictors of healthcare-seeking practices using multivariable regression. Results were weighted to obtain nationally representative estimates using Stata v. 13·1. Of the 341 cases, 52 visited a doctor due to gastroenteritis, 126 reported taking at least one medication for their symptoms and 79 cases reported missing ⩾1 days’ paid work due to gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis results in a total of 13·1 million (95% confidence interval 6·7–19·5) days of missed paid work each year in Australia. The indirect costs of gastroenteritis are significant, particularly from lost productivity.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

* Author for correspondence: A/Professor M. Kirk, National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia. (Email: Martyn.kirk@anu.edu.au)

References

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