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Evidence-Based Resource Summary

Strength of Evidence: 
4 out of 4
4 out of 4
Year Published: 

Interventions to Improve Return to Work in Depressed People

Description of Resource: 
Work disability, such as sickness absence, is common in people with depression. This systematic review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing work disability in employees with depression. It identified 23 studies involving 5,996 participants. The studies looked at the effects on sick leave of work-directed interventions (e.g., occupational therapy) and clinical interventions (e.g., primary care, psychological treatment, antidepressants, and exercise). It found moderate quality evidence that adding a work-directed intervention to a clinical intervention reduced the number of days on sick leave compared to a clinical intervention alone, and that enhancing primary or occupational care with cognitive behavioral therapy reduced sick leave compared to usual care. More studies are needed on work-directed interventions. Clinical intervention studies should also include work outcomes to increase our knowledge on reducing sickness absence in people who are depressed.

Evidence-Based Resource Details

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Developed By: 
Cochrane Review
Developer Type: 
Non-Federal Government
Healthy People 2020 Topic Area(s): 
Mental Health and Mental Disorders
Healthy People 2020 Objectives: 
Resource Type: 
Systematic Review
Nieuwenhuijsen K, Faber B, Verbeek JH, Neumeyer-Gromen A, Hees HL, Verhoeven AC, et al. Interventions to improve return to work in depressed people. Cochrane Database Syst Rev [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2018 Feb 28];(12). Art. No.: CD006237. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD006237.pub3. Available from: