Trajectories of Antidepressant Medication before and after the Onset of Unemployment by Subsequent Employment Experience

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Date: Jan. 5, 2017
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 12, Issue 1)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Author abstract
Length: 7,288 words
Lexile Measure: 1480L

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Abstract :

Background The unemployed more often suffer from depression than the employed. We examined whether mental health deterioration occurs already before unemployment implicating health selection, or whether it mostly occurs after becoming exposed to the experience rendering causal explanations more likely. Methods We used nationally representative Finnish register data to examine changes in depressive morbidity as measured by antidepressant medication in 1995-2009 over four years before and since a new onset of unemployment (N = 28 000) at the age of 30-60 compared to the employed (N = 124 136). We examined separately those who became continuously long-term unemployed, intermittently unemployed and unemployed with eventual re-employment in the second, third or fourth year since the year of onset. Annual repeated measurements were analysed using generalised estimation equations. Results Among the employed antidepressant medication increased slowly but steadily over the study period and it was mainly at a lower level than among the unemployed. In the four years leading to unemployment there was excess increase in medication that was generally stronger among those with longer duration of the eventual unemployment experience. During unemployment medication decreased in all groups except among the intermittently unemployed. By the first year of re-employment antidepressant medication reached a level similar to that among the employed and afterwards followed no consistent trend. Conclusions The associations of unemployment and re-employment with depressive morbidity appear to be largely driven by health selection. The question of potential causal associations remains unresolved for intermittent unemployment in particular.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A476655296