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February/March 2017 (vol. 13/5)

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Research Plus

Interventions for common mental health problems

Interventions for workers with common mental health conditions did not improve their return-to-work (RTW) rate but did reduce their mean absence, from 165 to 151 days, this systematic review of 16 randomised controlled trials found. The studies included 3,345 workers with depression, anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder or other common conditions. Interventions included cognitive behavioural therapy, problem solving, developing and restoring coping strategies, exposure therapy and psychoeducation – none involved medication. A meta-analysis found no significant change in RTW rate for the intervention group compared to controls (risk ratio = 1.05; CI 0.97–1.12) but significantly lower nimber of days lost due to sickness absence (mean improvement per employee = 13.38 days; CI 2.69–24.07).

Psychological Medicine 2016; 46: 3263–3274. doi: 10.1017/S0033291716002269.


Occupational Health at Work February/March 2017 (vol. 13/5) pp41