The association between mental disorders and productivity in treated and untreated employees
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Objectives: In a large cross-sectional study, this article investigates associations between employee work productivity, psychological distress, and the treatment of mental disorders. Methods: Sixty thousand five hundred fifty-six Australian employees completed the Health and Work Performance Questionnaire (HPQ). The HPQ quantified treatment seeking behavior for depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders. The HPQ also evaluated the level of psychological distress (Kessler 6 [K6]) and employee productivity measures. Results: The productivity of employees without psychological distress and who have not been in treatment of a mental disorder was 20% (SE = 0.3%). The productivity of a successfully treated employee (low K6) for a mental disorder was 17% (SE = 0.6%). Conclusions: Treatment of mental disorders resulting in normalization of symptoms is associated with employees' productivity returning to values approaching those of employees without a history of a mental disorder.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine