Specific Psychiatric Symptoms Impact Work Functioning

(HealthDay News) — For major depressive episodes and generalized anxiety disorder, specific symptoms are associated with labor market outcomes, according to a study published in the February issue of Medical Care.

Souvik Banerjee, from the University at Albany in New York, and colleagues used data from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication and the National Latino and Asian American Study to assess which psychiatric symptoms have the most important effect on labor market outcomes. The effects of symptoms were considered for individuals meeting and not meeting the diagnostic criteria for mental disorders.

The researchers found that the symptoms of insomnia/hypersomnia, indecisiveness, severe emotional distress and fatigue were crucial for labor market outcomes related to major depressive episode. The length of episode, symptoms relating to difficulty controlling worry, and symptoms of worry/anxiety/nervousness causing significant emotional distress in generalized anxiety disorder were most detrimental to work outcomes. There was no association seen for social phobia and panic attack with labor market outcomes.

“Our findings suggest that interventions targeting these particular symptoms may be most helpful in improving work functioning,” the authors write.

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