Depressed Workers Not as Effective

Depression has a greater effect on work attendance and productivity than other health conditions, with the exception of musculoskeletal disorders and insomnia, researchers say. A new study suggests psychological stress at the workplace can make it more difficult for depressed workers to perform their jobs and be productive.

"There is a large economic cost and a human cost," said lead author Debra Lerner, PhD, director, Program on Health, Work and Productivity, Tufts Medical Center. "We need to develop and test programs that directly try to address the employment of people with depression."

In many cases, depressed workers have difficulty handling the pacing of work, managing a routine, performing physical job tasks and managing their usual workload, Dr. Lerner said. The study findings appear in the January/February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Source: The National Association of Occupational Health Professionals

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