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Depression Symptoms Problematic

Conditions accompanying depression significantly affect mental and physical health reducing quality of life and lowering workplace productivity.

Common co-occurring conditions include fatigue, sleep problems or anxiety – conditions that significantly increased depression-related healthcare costs.

The new study was presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting.

In the study, which used an integrated database of healthcare claims and surveys of almost 14,000 employees at two large U.S. firms, researchers analyzed data on healthcare spending and presenteeism (i.e., employees’ estimates of their own productivity while at work) to assess the impact of depression and other chronic conditions.

“While depression itself has a significant economic impact, the negative effect on both workplace productivity and healthcare costs can be considerably increased when employees who are depressed also suffer from other conditions,” said Ronald C. Kessler, Ph.D., Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Overall, among the ten most prevalent physical and mental conditions measured, depression had the single largest negative effect on work productivity. That effect was magnified when fatigue, sleep problems and anxiety – conditions that often co-occur with depression – were also present.

Further, while depression had significant adverse effects on productivity in the absence of other co-morbid conditions, effects of these other conditions in the absence of depression were not as pronounced.

“These findings suggest we should aim to identify and minimize multiple factors associated with depression early to reduce this burden.”

Among the most prevalent physical and mental conditions, depression had the largest negative effect on overall work performance, followed by fatigue, anxiety, chronic sleeping problems, obesity.

Painful conditions also had large effects. However, when the effect of each condition was examined while controlling for comorbid depression, the independent effect of the condition was diminished.

This suggests that the other conditions examined in this study have their biggest impact on work performance when they occur with depression.

Source: Boehringer-Ingelheim

Depression Symptoms Problematic

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Depression Symptoms Problematic. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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