A recent study conducted by Thomson Reuters has shown that workers with depression tend to stay home claiming a sick leave more often than healthy colleagues, even when their disease is treated.
Commissioned by drug maker Sanofi Aventis, the report suggests that employers would benefit from better treatments of their workers for depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression is the leading cause of disability among Americans aged 15 to 44.
Writing in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the Thomson Reuters research team wrote, "Even when depressed patients are treated with antidepressants, there are substantial productivity losses. Therapies that can better manage depression may provide opportunities for savings to employers".
"Despite the widely acknowledged effectiveness of antidepressant therapy, productivity costs related to depression persist even after patients receive treatment," Suellen Curkendall, Director of outcomes research at Thomson Reuters, said in a statement.
Curkendall, who led the study, added, "This may be due to the fact that patients often don't respond to the first type of antidepressant that they are prescribed. They also may fail to take their medications on a regular basis”.