Depression and fitness for work

A Scottish study recruited 10 female and 20 male GPs to give their views. The GPs reported a tension between their role as an advocate for the patient and as the gatekeeper of entry into the benefits system. Deciding if someone with depression could go to work was harder than assessing patients with physical illness.

Although work can have beneficial effects, the GPs saw that time off could be therapeutic. As the effect of antidepressants is delayed, the GPs thought it was reasonable for patients to rest until the drugs were effective.

A sickness