Diagnosis and referral of workplace depression

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Apr;50(4):396-400. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31816c0043.


Objective: Effective treatment requires understanding of the many possible reasons for employees and patients to complain of "depression."

Methods: This process of differential diagnosis includes panic anxiety, thyroid and other medical conditions, as well as several distinct types of depression (including atypical depression and melancholia).

Results: Much of workplace depression care can be delivered by occupational health and mental health professionals. Optimal treatment requires accurate and specific diagnosis, and focused care. And, some cases require urgent psychiatric referral, while less urgent referral is important for some others.

Conclusions: Optimal diagnosis and specific treatment is a cost effective approach that saves money for employers, while helping employees.

MeSH terms

  • Depression / classification
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Depression / therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dysthymic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Workplace / psychology*