Work ability in sick-listed patients with major depressive disorder

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BackgroundMajor depressive disorder (MDD) is often a chronic relapsing disease resulting in work disability. For evaluation purposes a practical set of aspects of work ability would be helpful.AimTo identify the most important disease-specific aspects of work ability for sick-listed employees with MDD.MethodsAn expert brainstorming session identified the specific abilities that were thought to be associated with work ability in sick-listed employees with MDD and that could also be associated with the items of the Hamilton Rating scale for Depression. Sixty-four insurance physicians (IPs) were then selected to participate in a two-round Delphi study. The aim of the first Delphi round was to identify the abilities that were thought to be important by at least 80% of the IPs. In the second Delphi round, the abilities ranked in the top 10 by at least 55% of the IPs were identified as being the most important items.ResultsSixty-one IPs participated in the two Delphi rounds. The most important abilities to be evaluated in work ability evaluation for sick-listed employees with MDD were to take notice, to sustain attention, to focus attention, to complete operations, to think in a goal-directed manner, to remember, to perform routine operations, to undertake structured work activities, to recall and to perform autonomously.ConclusionAccording to 55% of the IPs, there were 10 important aspects of work ability that have to be considered in a work ability evaluation of sick-listed employees with MDD.

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