Predictors of long-term work disability in Major Depressive Disorder: a prospective study

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2007 Mar;115(3):206-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2006.00878.x.


Objective: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a major cause of long-term work disability. However, factors predicting this are not well known.

Method: In the Vantaa Depression Study, predictors for being granted a disability pension during an 18-month follow-up were examined among the 186 psychiatric MDD in- and out-patients belonging to the labour force at baseline.

Results: The 21 patients (11.3%) granted a disability pension were significantly older, more hopeless, had worse social and occupational functioning, and spent more time depressed during follow-up. After adjusting for these predictors, being on sick leave at baseline still strongly predicted disability pension during follow-up.

Conclusion: Disability pension is predicted by multiple sociodemographic and clinical factors. Baseline level of functioning and duration of depressive episodes are key clinical predictors. The positive and negative consequences of sick leave warrant closer attention.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Demography
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology*
  • Disability Evaluation*
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pensions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors