Sick notes for depression not helpful

Led by Associate Professor Kristy Sanderson of the University of Tasmania, the team modelled the costs and health outcomes for people with major depression, comparing those who keep going to work with those who take time off sick.

Health outcomes were calculated as quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) showing that, over a year, the quality of life for depressed white-collar employees was significantly better for those soldiering on at work compared with others staying off sick (0.66 vs 0.54 QALYs). 

No such difference in health outcomes was found for blue-collar workers, the authors said. 

The authors said better ways need to be found to manage working with depression – suggesting graded sickness absence, allowing part-time work, or performing modified tasks. 

Other advantages of staying at work were the maintenance of daily routines, having a sense of purpose, and social contact with co-workers, they said.  But