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Utilization of an Employee Behavioral Health Program and Its Effects on Outcomes for Depression and Anxiety Disorders

Maeng, Daniel PhD; Cornell, Ann E. PsyD; Nasra, George S. MD, MBA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: October 2019 - Volume 61 - Issue 10 - p 812–817
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001678
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Objective: To examine the impact of an employer-sponsored behavioral health program on depression and anxiety by assessing dose effect of psychotherapy.

Methods: A retrospective data analysis of patients with baseline scores more than or equal to 10 on the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ9) or the Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item scale (GAD7). Survival analyses were conducted to assess whether those with a higher number of therapy sessions per episode (dose) achieved faster response (score reduction by 50% or below 10).

Results: Patients with medium (8 to 12 visits) or high (more than 12 visits) dose achieved faster response than those with low dose (less than eight visits; hazard ratios more than 1.5, P < 0.05). No significant difference was found between the medium and high dose.

Conclusion: Higher dose of psychotherapy is correlated with improved behavioral health outcomes, although there appears to be no incremental benefit beyond a certain level.

University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York.

Address correspondence to: Daniel Maeng, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Box PSYCH, 300 Crittenden Blvd Rochester, NY 14642 (Daniel_Maeng@URMC.Rochester.edu).

The funding support for this study was provided by the interal funds within the Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center. No other external funding was provided.

Maeng, Cornell, Nasra have no other relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Statement of Clinical Significance: Depression and anxiety disorders are common behavioral health conditions affecting employees. This study finds that higher dose of psychotherapy provided via an employer-sponsored behavioral health program is correlated with improvements in PHQ8 and GAD7 among employees, although there appears to be no incremental benefit beyond a certain level.

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Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine