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Estimating the economic burden posed by work-related violence to society: a systematic review of cost-of-illness studies

Hassard, Juliet; Teoh, Kevin; Cox, Tom

Authors

Kevin Teoh

Tom Cox



Abstract

Estimates of the economic burden on society posed by work-related violence are important and often highly cited sources of evidence; typically used to substantiate arguments for prevention. However, such sources of information are generally poorly understood and seldom critiqued outside the disciplines of health economics and public health. The objective of this systematic review is to collate, review and synthesize evidence-based economic estimations of the burden on society of work-related violence. A research protocol was developed and peer-reviewed a priori, examining both the academic and grey literatures. Ten cost-of-illness studies met the inclusion criteria and were reviewed. All studies used a bottom-up (person-based) approach to derive their economic estimates, with only two national-contexts examined. In general, a limited number of indirect (productivity-related) and intangible cost components were accounted for in the cost-of-illness studies. The reviewed studies were notably dated, with only two published post-2010. The derived economic estimates ranged from $ 2.36 million to $ 55.86 billion (figures inflated to 2016 US dollars). We conclude that much of the available evidence provides an informative, but possibly dated estimate, of the cost of incidents of work-related violence at the ‘sharp-end’ of exposure. Possibly such estimates are gross under-valuations, under-representing the true burden to society. This first systematic review in the area identifies key limitations in the operationalization and measurement of the construct of work-related violence within cost-of-illness studies. We argue such critiques should frame and deepen our understanding of economic estimates in this domain. Future directions are discussed.

Citation

Hassard, J., Teoh, K., & Cox, T. (2019). Estimating the economic burden posed by work-related violence to society: a systematic review of cost-of-illness studies. Safety Science, 116, 208-221. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2019.03.013

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 15, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 27, 2019
Publication Date 2019-07
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 28, 2020
Journal Safety Science
Print ISSN 0925-7535
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 116
Pages 208-221
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2019.03.013
Keywords Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health; Safety Research; Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
Public URL https://nottingham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1683787
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0925753518308610
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Estimating the economic burden posed by work-related violence to society: A systematic review of cost-of-illness studies; Journal Title: Safety Science; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssci.2019.03.013; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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