Study: Workplace Depression Intervention Improves Employees' Health, Productivity

ENHANCED and systematic efforts to identify and treat depression in the workplace significantly improves employee health and productivity, likely leading to lower costs overall for the employer, according to a study published Sept. 26 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Previous studies have shown that employees who are depressed are less productive and are absent more often. Other studies have shown that organized screening and enhanced depression treatment can significantly improve health. However, few employers have implemented such programs, in part because their return on investment is unclear, the researchers said.

"This study provides compelling evidence of the importance of workplace depression screening, outreach, and enhanced treatment," said NIMH Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D. "It is in the interest of workers' health and the company's bottom line to ensure depressed employees are effectively treated."

Philip Wang, M.D., Dr.P.H., director of NIMH's Division of Services and Intervention Research, and colleagues conducted a trial with 604 employees enrolled in a managed behavioral health care plan, all of whom were identified as having clinically significant depression during a Web-based and telephone screening process. Half of the participants were randomly assigned to an intervention that included telephone support from a care manager and their choice of telephone psychotherapy, in-person psychotherapy or antidepressant medication. The other half of the participants were assigned to usual care, which included feedback about their screening results and advice to seek care from their usual provider.

After 12 months, those in the intervention group were 40 percent more likely to have recovered from their depression compared to those in usual care. Participants in the intervention group also were 70 percent more likely to stay employed, and worked an average of two more hours per week than those in usual care.

Although the data did not lend itself to a comprehensive cost/benefit analysis, the researchers noted that just the value of more hours worked among those in the intervention group who were employed, estimated at $1,800 per employee per year, far exceeds the $100-$400 per person costs associated with the type of outreach and intervention program used in the study.

"For many people, a large chunk of their lives is devoted to work. Depression affects not only a person's health, but also his or her ability to work," Wang noted. "Employers should consider a depression screening and intervention program as a healthy, win-win investment."

NIMH: http://www.nimh.nih.gov

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Easy to Use Safety Incident App

    Record incidents on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Collect data for multiple types of incidents including including near misses, vehicle and environmental incidents, and employee and non-employee injuries; at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Complete Online Safety Training Courses

    Deliver state-of-the art, online safety training courses to your organization with IndustrySafe Training Management Software. Generate reports to track training compliance and automatically notify learners of upcoming or overdue classes.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus