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The economics of women and depression: An employer's perspective


Birnbaum, Howard G.; Leong, Stephanie A.; Greenberg, Paul E.


k. A.


Journal of Affective Disorders, 2003, Volume 74 (Number 1), Seite 15-22, Amsterdam: Elsevier, ISSN: 0165-0327 (Print); 1573-2517 (Online)





While there is a growing literature on various aspects of depression in women, there is little research about the economic cost of depression in women. This analysis focuses on the direct and indirect cost to employers of female compared to male employees treated for depression, and their service utilization patterns.


We used a claims database from a national, Fortune 100 company to analyze the direct (medical and prescription drug) and indirect (disability and illness-related work absence) costs to an employer for female and male beneficiaries with depression.


In 1998, the average female employee with depression cost this company 9265 compared to 8502 for male employees with depression. These women had significantly greater work absence costs which led to higher total costs than men, even though their medical costs were lower than those of comparable men.


Our analysis of the indirect costs associated with depressed female and male employees is limited to the costs of disability and sporadic illness-related work absences. The data available from this one employer did not allow accounting for the cost of reduced productivity while at work.


We recommend that employers consider programs to improve the management of individuals with depression, in particular women. Also, further research is necessary to encourage the medical community to be more sensitive to the symptoms of depression in women.

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Journal of Affective Disorders
Homepage: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-affective-d...

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Informationsstand: 24.02.2004

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