October/November 2012 (vol. 09/3)

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Research Plus

Cost-effectiveness of worksite mental health programmes

There is only tenuous evidence that worksite interventions to treat or prevent mental heath problems are cost effective, according to a systematic review of economic evaluations (10 studies). All four studies looking at prevention or treatment found a ‘potentially favourable return’ on investment but only one study was assessed as high quality. The high-quality US study showed significantly improved productivity for workers with depression given enhanced care, with a 302% return on investment over two years. Five of the six studies evaluating return to work found no evidence of cost effectiveness – one moderate-quality Dutch study reported modest net benefits. The studies were from the US, Netherlands and Denmark and differences in the way healthcare is funded in these countries must be borne in mind when translating the results of economic-evaluation studies to the UK situation.


Occupational & Environmental Medicine 2012; online first: doi: 10.1136/oemed-2012-100668 http://oem.bmj.com/content/early/2012/08/02/oemed-2012-100668.abstract


Occupational Health at Work October/November 2012 (vol. 09/3) pp41