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Am J Public Health. 2007 Nov;97(11):2088-93. Epub 2007 Sep 27.

Major depressive episodes and work stress: results from a national population survey.

Author information

  • 1University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York 14462-8409, USA. emma_robertsonblackmore@urmc.rochester.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We determined the proportion of workers meeting criteria for major depressive episodes in the past year and examined the association between psychosocial work-stress variables and these episodes.

METHODS:

Data were derived from the Canadian Community Health Survey 1.2, a population-based survey of 24324 employed, community-dwelling individuals conducted in 2002. We assessed depressive episodes using the Composite International Diagnostic Interview.

RESULTS:

Of the original sample, 4.6% (weighted n=745948) met criteria for major depressive episodes. High job strain was significantly associated with depression among men (odds ratio [OR]=2.38; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.29, 4.37), and lack of social support at work was significantly associated with depression in both genders (men, OR=2.70; 95% CI=1.55, 4.71; women, OR=2.37; 95% CI=1.71, 3.29). Women with low levels of decision authority were more likely to have depression (OR=1.59; 95% CI=1.06, 2.39) than were women with high levels of authority.

CONCLUSIONS:

A significant proportion of the workforce experienced major depressive episodes in the year preceding our study. Gender differences appear to affect work-stress factors that increase risk for depression. Prevention strategies need to be developed with employers and employee organizations to address work organization and to increase social support.

PMID:
17901431
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2040353
Free PMC Article
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