Study finds depressed employees take twice as many sick days

April 30, 2001

Decreased performance is seven times as high

Washington, D.C.- A just-released longitudinal study - adding to the growing body of scientific evidence on employee productivity - confirms that depression is common in the workplace and detrimental to employee performance. These findings are reported in the May issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry, the monthly scientific journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

The study found that absenteeism due to health problems was twice as high for employees with depressive symptoms compared to those without depressive symptoms. The study also revealed that the likelihood of decreased performance on the job is seven times higher for depressed employees.

The Yale University research investigators termed decreased productivity on the job as "presenteeism" and was a likely result of employee reluctance to report an illness or to consider depression a "legitimate reason" for taking sick leave.

"The perceived stigma associated with depressive disorders may thus result in a high proportion of hidden costs to employers that are not readily evident from health or disability claims data," they said.

The longitudinal study of more than 6,000 employees at three corporations took a close look at the relationship between depression, satisfaction with health care and employee productivity.

The study also found that employees who complained about their health care -including problems with access, communications, choice and continuity of care-were also more likely to be depressed and work less productively.

According to Lloyd Sederer, M.D., Director of the Division of Clinical Services for the American Psychiatric Association, "The message is clear: there is both medical and financial value in better detection and effective treatment for depression in the workplace."

"The APA is strongly committed to working with employers to greatly improve access to quality psychiatric care," said Norman Clemens, M.D., chair of APA's Committee on APA/Business Relationships. "Quality psychiatric care is good for employees and their families, and it makes economic good sense for business."

APA, which has taken an active role in working with businesses to promote employee productivity, will conduct sessions at its 154th Annual Meeting that address mental health and its effects on workplace and business issues.
-end-
For more information on APA's Annual Meeting, which will be held May 5-10 in New Orleans, La., contact Kimberly Cordero (202/682-6394 until May 2, 504/760-5008 May 4-10.)

The American Psychiatric Association is a national medical specialty society whose 38,000 physicians members specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

American Psychiatric Association

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.