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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181ce10a8
Original Articles

Productivity Losses Among Treated Depressed Patients Relative to Healthy Controls.

Curkendall, Suellen PhD; Ruiz, Kimberly M. EdM; Joish, Vijay PhD; Mark, Tami L. PhD

Continued Medical Education
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Objectives: Estimate the productivity-related cost of depression in an employed population.

Methods: By using administrative data, annual short-term disability (STD) and absenteeism costs ($2005) were compared for patients with depression and treated with antidepressants and for a matched control group without depression.

Results: Mean annual STD costs were $1038 among treated depressed patients versus $325 among controls and $1685 among a subgroup of severely depressed treated patients versus $340 among their controls. After controlling for demographic and employment characteristics, treated patients with depression had STD costs that were $356 higher per patient and those with severe depression had costs that were $861 higher. The marginal impact of treated depression on absenteeism was $377.

Conclusions: Even when depressed patients are treated with antidepressants, there are substantial productivity losses. Therapies that can better manage depression may provide opportunities for savings to employers.

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine


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