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Work-Focused Interventions for Depression: Final Report

Publication Date

Among employed adults, major depression is a leading cause of work absences (absenteeism) and impaired work performance (presenteeism) as well as short-term and long-term work disability. Depression is one of the largest and fastest growing categories of work disability claims filings in the public and private disability insurance sectors. Despite advances in depression detection, diagnosis, and treatment, most adults with depression receive no care or suboptimal treatment. Research also shows that depression treatment by itself, even when it reduces symptoms, does not adequately restore work functioning. Because untreated depression results in enormous costs to companies, many employers have invested in work-based depression interventions. Little is known, however, about the prevalence, quality, and effectiveness of these interventions. This project incorporated an environmental scan and key informant interviews to summarize current knowledge regarding the adoption and benefits of work-based depression programs, identify key elements of successful programs, summarize gaps in our understanding of these programs, and identify opportunities to expand these program. [55 PDF pages]

This report was prepared under contract #HHSP23320100026WI between HHS's ASPE/DALTCP and Westat, Inc. For additional information about this subject, you can visit the DALTCP home page at or contact the ASPE Project Officer, Judith Dey, at HHS/ASPE/DALTCP, Room 424E, H.H. Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201. Her e-mail address is:

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and views expressed in this report are those of the authors. They do not reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services, the contractor or any other funding organization. This report was completed and submitted on November 24, 2017.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)