Gallup: Depressed workers miss four extra days of work annually
The report, based on data from a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, said 12 percent of U.S. workers report being diagnosed with depression while about half of those workers are currently being treated. Those who have been diagnosed with depression miss an estimated 68 million additional days of work each year compared to their counterparts who have never been depressed.
"Full-time workers who have been diagnosed with depression make up 10.8 percent of the U.S. workforce and average 8.7 missed work days each year due to poor health. Workers who have never been diagnosed with depression miss an average of 4.6 work days per year," the report says. "Thus, those who have depression or a history of depression miss more than four additional days per year as a function of poor health, after controlling for age, gender, income, education, race/ethnicity, religion, marital status, and obesity classification."
Of part-time workers, 16.6 percent have been diagnosed with depression, and they miss an average of 13.7 workdays annually compared to 8.7 missed days among part timers who have not been diagnosed with depression, the report says.
The report is based on surveys of 237,615 full-time workers and 66,010 part-time employees collected from Jan. 2, 2011 to Dec. 30, 2012. To identify those who have been diagnosed with depression, the questioners asked whether a doctor or nurse had ever told the respondent he is depressed.
"As U.S. employers move more aggressively to positively affect change around the physical wellbeing of some of their employees, such interventions may be inadequate to address the mental, emotional, and psychological health of others," the report says. "Nationally, one in eight U.S. workers have been diagnosed with depression, yielding tens of millions in the workforce who have either grappled with emotional health issues in the past or do so today."
The report suggests employers consider:
- Allocating resources for early identification and treatment.
- Implementing employee assistance programs.
- Creating ways to culturally de-stigmatize depression and its treatment in the workplace.
- Providing management education to address depression and its causes.
By Nancy Grover
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
September 9, 2013
Copyright 2013© LRP Publications