Occupations and the Prevalence of Major Depressive Episode in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health

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Objective: This study explores the relationship of occupations to major depressive episode (MDE). Method: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data from the civilian noninstitutionalized United States population are analyzed regarding mental illnesses, employment, and specific occupations and industries. This analysis uses combined 2005 to 2014 NSDUH data, comprising a sample of 433,000 adults aged 18 to 64 years old, of whom 22,700 were both employed and had experienced an MDE in the past year. Results: The findings focus on 30 occupations with the highest prevalence of MDE (greater than 9.0%). There is no simple overarching concept that describes these occupations, although common factors suggest hypotheses about the relationship of occupation to depression. Conclusion and Implications for Practice: The findings suggest the possibility of prioritizing available preventive and treatment interventions to occupational settings with the highest prevalence of MDE.

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