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.