Pattern of antidepressant use and duration of depression-related absence from work

Carolyn S Dewa, Jeffrey S Hoch, Elizabeth Lin, Michael Paterson, Paula Goering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Background: Few studies have examined the relationship between antidepressant prescription and receipt of depression-related disability benefits. Aims: To address two questions: first, is prescription of antidepressants in accordance with published clinical guides associated with better disability outcomes, and second, what is the relationship between guideline-concordant antidepressant prescription and length of disability? Method: An observational study was conducted using administrative data from three major Canadian financial and insurance sector companies. Short-term disability and prescription drug claims records for 1996-1998 were linked for workers receiving depression-related short-term disability benefits during that time. Results: Recommended first-line agents and recommended doses were significantly associated with return to work (χ2=6.64, P < 0.036). In addition, among those who returned to work, early intervention was significantly associated with a shortened disability episode (β=-24.1; 95% Cl -34.4 to -13.8). Conclusions: Depression-related workplace disability is a problem for which there is no simple solution. These results provide an additional piece to the puzzle of helping workers disabled by depression to return to work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberDEC.
StatePublished - Dec 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Pattern of antidepressant use and duration of depression-related absence from work'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this