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Study finds depressed employees take twice as many sick days

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  • Ian Pitchford
    FOR RELEASE: 1 MAY 2001 AT 00:01 ET US American Psychiatric Association http://www.psych.org/ Study finds depressed employees take twice as many sick days
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30 10:48 PM
      FOR RELEASE: 1 MAY 2001 AT 00:01 ET US
      American Psychiatric Association
      http://www.psych.org/

      Study finds depressed employees take twice as many sick days

      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.


      ###
      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.
      http://www.eurekalert.org/releases/apa-sfd043001.html

      Improving Health in the Community: A Role for Performance Monitoring
      LLOYD I. SEDERER
      Am J Psychiatry 2001;158 830
      http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/158/5/830
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