Mental Health & The Workplace

Participants were randomly selected from an electronic version of the white pages and were sent informational letters regarding the study to their home. A total of 2790 participants were obtained; 1390 female and 1396 male, all over the age of 18 at time 1; 2009. Time 2 (2010) consisted of participants from Time 1 who agreed to a follow-up and there was a 74% response rate (N=2024; 927 female and 1147 male). All dependent variables were measured using accredited questionnaires. Depression was measured using the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 (PHQ-9).

This questionnaire is a nine item scale constructed from the DSM-lVs diagnostic past month, how often were you bothered by feeling down, depressed, or hopeless? ” Responses were measured with frequency ranging from O (not at all) and 3 (nearly every day) and severity O (no depression) and 27 (severe/clinical). Sickness absence and presenteeism were measured using the WHO Health and Work Performance Questionnaire. The questionnaires recorded the number of days that were missed due to being sick physically and or mentally and the employees weekly work hours.

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Bullying was measured by having an operational definition provided for the participants and then being asked to report if they ever felt subjected to those behaviors. Job strain was measured using the Job Content Questionnaire asking on a four point Likert scale (1 ”strongly disagree to 4=strongly agree) inquiring about how taxing their Job was. Table 1 depicts that individuals with mild depression show a doubling in estimated productivity costs, 1040$, when it has to do with annual sickness absence. For sickness absence this number is tripled compared to the employee without depression at 1616$.

The annual costs for presenteeism followed similar trends showing that there is not much of an increase from moderately severe depressed employed and severe. The effects of depression on the individual ranges in the thousands of dollars annually compared to the employee who does not suffer from depression. Table 2 illustrates the costs that organizations face nationally. The majority of the costs can be traced back to the individuals who are suffering from mild depression despite severely depressed workers costing more individually.

The total costs of depression nationally are under 8 billion. Table 3 (PAR=Population Attributable Risk, OR”odd Ratios) shows that bullying is a significant predictor for depression (6% 0 2. 54 OR). Job strain without bullying had no significant effects. Regardless, the impact of the significant results of Job strain, Job strain and bullying, and bullying that is attributed to depression cost around 693 million. Lerner et al. (2010) also investigated the impact of depression on work performance and impact stressors. Like the previous study, Lerner et al. akes into consideration how stressful work place behaviors can either create or enhance depression. Much of this research is based on the Job demand-control-support framework which indicates that work involving high psychologic demands will be harmful to health, whereas work involving control and/or social support will be protective (Lerner et al. , 2010, p. 205). Using a longitudinal cohort study surveys were distributed at 6,12, and 18 months. There were a total of 14,268 participants between the ages of 18-62 years; 286 of them being depressed and 193 of them being controls.

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