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Preventing depression relapse and improving well-being at work


Depression is one of the primary causes for work incapacity in Canada. Over 50% of individuals who have had one depressive episode will have at least another in their lifetime. Yet, few studies have looked at preventing depression relapse in people who have returned to work after a depression. Studies suggest that depression relapse might be linked to dysfunctional beliefs and cognitive biases, which can be altered with cognitive behaviour therapy.

Currently, 20 out of Dr. Lecomte’s goal of 50 employees with a recent history of depression have participated in her study (i.e. took part in her group therapy or are in the control condition).  Participant evaluations have been taken three times (over the course of eight months) and, although analysis of the results would be premature at this time, participants in the group have all mentioned really appreciating the intervention and finding it very useful.

“We hope that this study will help demonstrate that people with a history of depression can maintain their work activities and avoid absences due to depression recurrence if offered the right tools” say Professors Lecomte and Corbière. “Group cognitive behaviour therapy for depression is a highly potent intervention that we believe could have an impact not only on absenteeism linked to depression relapse but also work functioning and well-being at work”.

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The proposed study takes a first step in determining the effects of a tailored intervention for relapse prevention in individuals having experienced depression who are working. This intervention might be a useful and easy to implement tool for organizations wishing to avoid the negative consequences of depression relapse in their employees, and to improve their work functioning and well-being at work.

You can learn more about Dr. Lecomte by visiting her web site or at iusmm.ca/research/researchers/researchers/tania-lecomte.html