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April/May 2009 (vol. 05/6)

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Research Plus

Mental health interventions

Workplace interventions can be effective in reducing depression and anxiety symptoms; however, a systematic review and meta-analysis finds that the effects are small. Twenty-two papers, covering 3,409 employees, met inclusion criteria; 17 were included in a meta-analysis of standardised depression and anxiety scores. Roughly half the studies focused specifically on mental health outcomes, and were based on cognitive behaviour interventions or coping skills training. The others were aimed at reducing risk factors, such as poor work environment, physical inactivity or cardiovascular disease. Standardised mean differences were 0.28 for depression (95% confidence interval 0.12–0.44) and 0.29 for anxiety (0.06–0.51). Interventions with a direct focus on mental health had similar beneficial effects as those aimed at reducing risk factors.

Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health 2009; 35(1): 7–18.  http://www.sjweh.fi/show_abstract.php?abstract_id=1295

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Occupational Health at Work April/May 2009 (vol. 05/6) pp44