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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine:
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182611a69
Original Articles

The Prevalence and Impact of Depression in Self-Referred Clients Attending an Employee Assistance Program

Lam, Raymond W. MD; Wolinsky, Debra MEd; Kinsella, Cynthia BA; Woo, Cindy BA; Cayley, Paula M. MSW; Walker, Anne B. MSW

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Abstract

Objective: To determine the prevalence and characteristics of clients with depression attending an employee assistance program (EAP).

Methods: Anonymized data were obtained from 10,794 consecutive clients, including 9105 employees, self-referred to PPC Canada, a large, external EAP. Assessment measures included the self-rated nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Clinical characteristics of depressed clients (PHQ-9 score ≥10) were compared with those of nondepressed clients.

Results: Thirty-seven percent of the employee sample met PHQ-9 criteria for clinically significant depression. Compared with clients without depression, they had significantly higher rates of anxiety, psychotropic medication use, problem substance use, global problems with functioning, absenteeism, impairment in work-related tasks, and low job satisfaction.

Conclusions: A large proportion of EAP clients were clinically depressed with associated negative effects on personal and occupational functioning.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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