The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between demographic variables, vocational rehabilitation (VR) services and employment outcomes for people with depression and other mood disorders. The Rehabilitation Services Administration's Case Service Reports database for Fiscal-Year 2013 was examined using multivariable logistic regression. Results indicated that participants who received on-the-job support, technical assistance, job placement, maintenance, on-the-job training, other services, occupational/vocational training, information-referral, job search, and vocational rehabilitation counseling were more likely to achieve competitive employment than participants who did not receive those services. Having a higher level of education, and not receiving cash benefits were positively associated with competitive employment. Hispanic or Latino and 36-54 years old participants were more likely to achieve competitive employment. The study shows that people with depression and other mood disorders may benefit from job related support services.
Depression and other mood disorders are one of the most frequently occurring mental health problems around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2016) reported that major depression would be the second most common causes of disabilities by 2020. In the United States, the lifetime risk for depression was indicated to be 17%, and at any point of time about to 3 to 5% of the U.S. adult population experience major depressive disorder. Recent estimates also indicated that over 15 million American adults experienced major depression corresponding to approximately 2 to 7% of the nation's workforce (National Institute of Mental Health, 2014).
Depression has greater negative effects on job performance than many other health conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, back problems and diabetes (Gilmour & Pattern, 2007; Woo et al., 2011). Symptoms of depression and other mood disorders, including loss of energy, disinterest in the job, diminished ability to focus on tasks, and feelings of discouragement and hopelessness (Gilmour & Pattern, 2007; Steadman, & Taskila, 2015) cause higher number of sick days, leave from work, and productivity loss (Hjarsbech, Nielsen, Andersen, Rugulies, & Christensen; 2015). Plaiser et al. (2010) reported that people with current depression symptoms are seven times more likely to have a long term absence and five times more likely to have poor performance than people without depression. It also estimated that about 30 to 50% of employees with depression take a short time break at some point during the employment reducing annual income by approximately 10% (McIntyre, Liauw, & Valerie, 2011). In addition to the productivity losses, the U.S. government spent billions of dollars to provide health care for people with depression and other mood disorders (Burcusa & Iacono, 2007; Corbiere et al., 2015).
Although depression has a negative effect on employment outcomes, work engagement might have therapeutic effect on people with depression and other mood disorders. According to the conversion of resources (COR) theory (Hobfoil, 1989, 1998, 2001) work engagement may undo negative psychological affects associated with negative emotions, have a positive effect on our neuroendocrine system, and interrupt the spiral downward of depression (Innstrand, Langballe, & Falkum, 2011). Conversely, the cognitive behavioral model of emotional disorders indicates that unemployment...