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Incidence and Cost of Depression After Occupational Injury

Asfaw, Abay PhD; Souza, Kerry PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: September 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 9 - p 1086–1091
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182636e29
Original Articles

Objectives: We examined if injured workers were more likely than noninjured workers to be treated for depression after an occupational injury and estimated the cost paid by group medical insurance.

Method: Nearly 367,900 injured and noninjured workers were drawn from the 2005 Thomson Reuters MarketScan data. Descriptive, logistic, and two-part model regression analyses were used.

Results: The odds of injured workers being treated for depression within the study period were 45% higher than those of noninjured workers (95% confidence interval, 1.17–1.78). The unconditional average cost of outpatient depression treatment was 63% higher for injured workers than for noninjured workers.

Conclusions: Injured workers were more likely than noninjured workers to suffer from depression during the study period. Consequently, additional costs are incurred for treating injured workers' depression; these costs were not covered by the workers' compensation system.

From the Office of the Director (Dr Asfaw), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Washington, DC; and Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies (Dr Souza), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Washington, DC.

Address correspondence to: Abay Asfaw, Office of the Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 395 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20201 (hqp0@cdc.gov).

No external funding was provided for this research.

Authors Asfaw and Souza have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM Editorial Board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine