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Abstract Details

Activity Number: 621
Type: Contributed
Date/Time: Thursday, August 2, 2012 : 8:30 AM to 10:20 AM
Sponsor: Health Policy Statistics Section
Abstract - #306182
Title: The Longitudinal Relationship Between Depression and Employment Among VA Primary Care Patients
Author(s): Kara Zivin*+ and Duncan G Campbell and Andrew Lanto and Edmund F Chaney and Cory Bolkan and Laura M Bonner and Erin M Miller and Marcia Valenstein and Thomas J Waltz and Lisa V Rubenstein
Companies: National Serious Mental Illness Treatment Resource and Evaluation Center and University of Montana and Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, HSR&D and University of Washington School of Medicine and Washington State University and VA Puget Sound, HSR&D and University of Michigan School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor, SMITREC, HSR&D and Little Rock Department of Veterans Affairs and Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles, HSR&D
Address: 2800 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109, United States
Keywords: depression ; multinomial ; employment ; veterans

Objective: Few studies have examined relationships between longitudinal depression severity and employment continuity. We assessed these relationships over eighteen months among working-age Veterans. Methods: We used survey data from Veterans receiving primary care. Our sample included 516 participants with PHQ-9 scores indicating probable major depression at baseline who completed either one or both follow up surveys fielded at six and eighteen months post-baseline. We examined relationships between depression persistence and employment status using multinomial logistic regression models. Results: Improved depression status was associated with an increased likelihood of becoming employed over six months among those who were both depressed and unemployed at baseline. Improvements in depression status starting at six months and continuing through eighteen months was associated with remaining employed over the eighteen month period, relative to those who were depressed during the same time frame. Conclusions: Given the pressing need to prevent socioeconomic deterioration among working aged Veterans, further attention to the depression/employment relationship is urgently needed.

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