According to a study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry, clinicians should monitor work productivity to assess whether people undergoing treatment for depression may need additional treatment and services. The study found that early improvements in worker productivity could predict depression remission.
Work Productivity: Key to Depression Remission?
To assess the connection between depression and workplace productivity, researchers used the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment self-reporting tool with 331 workers. Each of the workers was enrolled in the Combining Medications to Enhance Depression Outcomes trial and had previously been diagnosed with major depression. Participants had similar levels of depression and productivity impairment at the beginning of the study.
Researchers measured worker productivity during the first six weeks of treatment with medication. They then divided participants into three groups: those whose productivity had greatly improved, those who saw no improvements in productivity, and those who experienced minimal productivity improvements.psychotherapy or increased physical exercise (both of which have been shown to reduce depression symptoms). They say these findings point to the value of workplace productivity as an early screening tool for the efficacy of depression treatments.
How Depression Affects Workplaces
Lost productivity at work usually accounts for the greatest share of depression’s economic burden. According to the University of Michigan Depression Center, 50% of workers with depression experience short-term disability. As of 2000, depression costs employers $44 billion annually due to lost productivity, and 81% of that is a direct result of poorer performance at work.
Research consistently supports the claim that employer health care costs decrease when workers get adequate depression treatment. For example, a 2000 study published in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry found people whose depression improved over 12 months had reduced health care costs and were less likely to take time off work.
The World Health Organization reports depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, with 350 million people across the globe experiencing symptoms.
- Depression. (2016, April). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/
- Depression and lost productivity. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.depressioncenter.org/work/information-for-employers/lost-productivity/
- Jha, M. K., Minhajuddin, A., Greer, T. L., Carmody, T., Rush, A. J., & Trivedi, M. H. (2016). Early improvement in work productivity predicts future clinical course in depressed outpatients: Findings from the CO-MED trial. American Journal of Psychiatry. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.16020176
- Simon, G. E., Revicki, D., Heiligenstein, J., Grothaus, L., Vonkorff, M., Katon, W. J., & Hylan, T. R. (2000). Recovery from depression, work productivity, and health care costs among primary care patients. General Hospital Psychiatry,22(3), 153-162. doi:10.1016/s0163-8343(00)00072-4
- Work productivity is key factor in assessing recovery of depressed patients. (2016, August 15). Retrieved from http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-08/usmc-wpi081516.php
© Copyright 2016 GoodTherapy.org. All rights reserved.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.