Improving the Methods to Measure Work Productivity Losses in Patients and Caregivers

Project Summary

The “Valuation of Lost Productivity” (VOLP) questionnaire was initially developed to measure and value work productivity losses in people with health problems.  These losses include work stoppage, absenteeism and presenteeism (reduced work productivity while at work).

However, people with health problems often require time from their family members or friends (caregivers) to take care of them. These caregiving responsibilities can affect the caregivers’ work productivity. Existing questionnaires that assess the time spent by caregivers on caregiving responsibilities and caregiver work productivity losses have limitations.

Using a patient-oriented research approach, we adapted the VOLP into a caregiver version to capture time spent on caregiving and work productivity losses of caregivers.

After reviewing the VOLP and other existing questionnaires measuring caregiver work productivity losses, our team developed a draft of the questionnaire, which included the addition of volunteer activities and lost job opportunities. This questionnaire draft was improved using one-on-one interviews with caregivers, converted to an online survey, and improved with further one-on-one caregiver tests and interviews.

We then tested the feasibility and validity of our tool, by comparing it to the results of a previously validated questionnaire, the “Work Productivity and Activity Impairment” questionnaire (WPAI), as well as a previous VOLP validation study.

Project Findings

Our study results provide evidence on the feasibility and validity of the VOLP caregiver questionnaire.


Gelfand A, Sou J, Sawatzky R, Prescott K, Pearce A, Anis AH, Lee C, Zhang W. Valuation of Lost Productivity in Caregivers: A Validation Study. Frontiers in Psychology. 2021;12:727871.


We presented preliminary results at the BC SUPPORT Unit’s conference, “Putting Patients First 2020“: Read our abstract and watch a video on the presentation

On July 12, 2021, we gave an oral presentation at the International Health Economics Association Congress:

This project is part of the Health Economics and Simulation Modelling Cluster.


Wei Zhang, Co-PI ✉︎
Christine Lee, Co-PI
Julie Sou
Aaron Gelfand
Katrina Prescott
Lee Boyko
Rick Sawatzky
Alison Pearce
Aslam Anis