Raising the profile of depression in the workplace
Lawson, Katrina, Rodwell, John and Noblet, Andrew 2009, Raising the profile of depression in the workplace, in ANZAM 2009 : Proceedings of the 23rd ANZAM Conference 2009, Promaco Conventions, [Canning Bridge, W.A.], pp. 1-20.
The prevalence of depression in the Australian workforce is unknown. Epidemiological surveys (e.g., the National Health Survey and National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing) do not routinely include a depression scale and within the mental health field, few studies focus on depression and employment groups specifically. Although the inclusion of a direct measure of depression in national surveys is preferable, the prevalence of depression may be inferred from short screening scales of general mental health. In this paper, scores on the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the Kessler psychological distress scale (K10) for a sample of employed persons were mapped onto the CES-D (Iowa) measure of depression. The results of this study indicate that the recommended GHQ-12 cut-off point is appropriate for estimating work-related depression prevalence. However, the cut-off point on the K10 (the short-scale currently used in Australian national surveys) may need to be substantially reduced if scores on the K10 are to be used to identify workers at risk of depression. The routine inclusion of a direct depression measure in national surveys is recommended, particularly considering the number of employed persons in Australia and large proportion of the sample classified as depressed in this study.
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