Antidepressant use and associations with psychosocial work characteristics. A comparative study of Swedish an Danish gainfully employed

Tidsskriftartikel - 2013

Resume

Background: Although depression is common, prevalence estimates of antidepressant use among the workforce and undisputed evidence relating psychosocial work characteristics to depression is scarce. This study cross-sectionally assesses the prevalence of antidepressant use among employed in Sweden and Denmark and prospectively examines associations between work characteristics and antidepressant use.Methods: Data on work demands, influence and learning possibilities was collected 2005-2006 from two representative samples of employed aged 20-59 years from Sweden (n=4351) and Denmark (n=8064) and linked to purchases of antidepressants through national prescription drug registries. Standardized 12-month prevalences were calculated. Cox regressions on work characteristics and incident use were performed separately and estimates pooled.Results: Employed Swedish residents had higher standardized prevalence than Danish, 6.0% compared to 5.0%. Working fast and conflicting demands were associated with incident use when estimates were pooled, but adjustment for baseline health attenuated these estimates. Emotionally disturbing situations were related to any incident use, and more strongly to use >179 defined daily dosages/year, even after adjustment for various covariates.Limitations: Statistics based on national prescription drug registries are influenced by, e.g., treatment seeking behaviours and other reasons for prescription than depression. Selective drop-out may also affect prevalence estimates.Conclusions: The study indicates that use of antidepressants among the workforce is relatively high and that employed Swedish residents had higher prevalence of antidepressant use than Danish. Relationships between work characteristics and antidepressant use were, however, similar with emotional demands showing the strongest association, indicating that particular groups of employees may be at increased risk.

Reference

Hanson L, Madsen I, Westerlund H, Theorell T, Burr FHM, Rugulies RE. Antidepressant use and associations with psychosocial work characteristics. A comparative study of Swedish an Danish gainfully employed. Journal of Affective Disorders 2013;149(1-3):38-45.
doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.08.023

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