Advertisement

Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 335–347 | Cite as

Union Perceptions of Factors Related to the Return to Work of Employees with Depression

  • Marc Corbière
  • Marianne Renard
  • Louise St-Arnaud
  • Marie-France Coutu
  • Alessia Negrini
  • Geneviève Sauvé
  • Tania Lecomte
Article

Abstract

Purpose Between 30 and 60 % of the societal cost of depression is due to losses related to decreased work productivity. To date, only a few studies have focused on union perspectives related to factors influencing the return-to-work of employees absent due to depression, despite evidence of the importance of these perspectives. The purpose of this study is to develop a better understanding of union perspectives on the factors surrounding the return-to-work of employees who were absent from work due to depression. Methods In this qualitative study, conducted in Canada (Québec), 23 individuals (union representatives and peer workers) from the three largest unions (mixed industries) in Quebec took part in one of three focus groups. Results Fourteen emerging themes (e.g., work environment, attitudes toward depression) were distributed over five categories of stakeholders involved in the return-to-work of employees on sick leave (i.e., employers and immediate supervisors, co-workers, employees on sick leave due to depression, general physicians, and unions). We observed four major cross-cutting themes that arose beyond these five categories: (1) organizational culture in which mental health issues and human aspects of work are central, (2) support and follow-up during the work absence and the return-to-work, (3) lack of resources to assist the employee in the return-to-work, and (4) stakeholders’ prejudices and discomfort regarding depression. Conclusions Our results clarify the factors, from a union perspective, that may facilitate or hinder the return-to-work of employees absent from work due to depression.

Keywords

Union Perceptions Return-to-work Depression Focus group 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We wish to thank all the individuals who have participated in the focus groups of this study. M.C., M-F.C. & T.L. have salary awards from the Fonds de Recherche du Québec—Santé. This study was supported by a grant from the Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST).

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

References

  1. 1.
    Andlin-Sobocki P, Jönsson B, Wittchen H-U, Olesen J. Cost of disorders of the brain in Europe. Eur J Neurol Off J Eur Fed Neurol Soc. 2005;12(Suppl 1):1–27.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Greenberg PE, Kessler RC, Birnbaum HG, Leong SA, Lowe SW, Berglund PA, et al. The economic burden of depression in the United States: How did it change between 1990 and 2000? J Clin Psychiatry. 2003;64(12):1465–75.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lim KL, Jacobs P, Ohinmaa A, Schopflocher D, Dewa C. A new population-based measure of the economic burden of mental illness in Canada. Chronic Dis Can. 2008;28(3):92–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    World Health Organization. Mental health policies and programmes in the workplace. Geneva: Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package; 2005.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Birnbaum HG, Kessler RC, Kelley D, Ben-Hamadi R, Joish VN, Greenberg PE. Employer burden of mild, moderate, and severe major depressive disorder: mental health services utilization and costs, and work performance. Depress Anxiety. 2010;27(1):78–89.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Laitinen-Krispijn S, Bijl RV. Mental disorders and employee sickness absence: the NEMESIS study. Netherlands mental health survey and incidence study. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol. 2000;35(2):71–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lim D, Sanderson K, Andrews G. Lost productivity among full-time workers with mental disorders. J Ment Health Policy Econ. 2000;3(3):139–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kessler RC, Frank RG. The impact of psychiatric disorders on work loss days. Psychol Med. 1997;27(4):861–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wang J, Adair CE, Patten SB. Mental health and related disability among workers: a population-based study. Am J Ind Med. 2006;49:514–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stephens T, Joubert N. The economic burden of mental health problems in Canada. Chronic Dis Can. 2001;22(1):18–23.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dewa CS, Corbière M, Durand M-J, Hensel J. Challenges related to mental health in the workplace. In: Gatchel RJ, Schultz IZ, editors. Handbook of occupational health and wellness. New York: Springer; 2013. p. 105–31.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Dufour-Poirier M, Bourque R. Risques psychosociaux au travail et action syndicale: l’expérience des délégués sociaux de la FTQ au Québec. Négoc. 2013;1:43–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Corbière M, Durand MJ. From mental disorder to work disability - A transdisciplinary approach to better understand this thematic and to offer ways of interventions. Québec: Presses de l’Université du Québec; 2011.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Durand MJ, Corbière M, Coutu MF, Reinharz D, Albert V. A review of best work-absence management and return-to-work practices for workers with musculoskeletal or common mental disorders. Work J Prev Assess Rehab. 2014;48(4):579–589. doi: 10.3233/WOR-141914.
  15. 15.
    Lemieux P, Corbière M, Durand MJ. Return to work and work integration of people with a mental disorder - The role of the immediate supervisor. In: Corbière M, Durand MJ, editors. From mental disorder to work disability - A transdisciplinary approach to better understand this thematic and to offer ways of interventions. Montréal: Presses de l’Université du Québec; 2011. p. 315–38.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    St-Arnaud L, Briand C, Corbière M, Durand MJ, Bourbonnais R, Saint-Jean M, et al. Supporting a return to work after an absence for a mental health problem: Design, implementation, and evaluation of an integrated practices program. Studies and research projects/report R-823. Montreal: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et sécurité du travail; 2011.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    NICE. Managing long term sickness absence and incapacity of work, vol. 19. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; 2009.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    NICE. Promoting mental wellbeing through productive, healthy working conditions guidance for employers, vol. 22. London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence; 2009.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Shaw WS, Robertson MM, Pransky G, McLellan RK. Employee perspectives on the role of supervisors to prevent workplace disability after injuries. J Occup Rehabil. 2003;13(3):129–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Baril R, Clarke J, Friesen M, Stock S, Cole D. Management of return-to-work programs for workers with musculoskeletal disorders: a qualitative study in three Canadian provinces. Soc Sci Med. 2003;57(11):2101–14.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Carpentier-Roy M-C, Vézina M. Work and its misunderstandings: A psychodynamic survey of work in Quebec. Québec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval; 2000.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pomaki G, France RL, Khushrushani N, Murray E, Lampinen T, Mah P. Best practices for Return-to-work/Stay-at-work interventions for workers with mental health conditions. Vancouver: Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare in BC (OHSAH); 2010.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    MacEachen E, Clarke J, Franche RL, Irvin E. Workplace-based return to work literature review group. Systematic review of the qualitative literature on return to work after injury. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2006;32(4):257–69.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Glozier N. Workplace effects of the stigmatization of depression. J Occup Environ Med. 1998;40(9):793–800.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Nieuwenhuijsen K, Verbeek JH, de Boer AG, Blonk RW, van Dijk FJ. Supervisory behaviour as a predictor of return to work in employees absent from work due to mental health problems. Occup Environ Med. 2004;61(10):817–23.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Dunstan DA, MacEachen E. Bearing the brunt: co-workers’ experiences of work reintegration processes. J Occup Rehabil. 2013;23(1):44–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hauck K, Chard G. How do employees and managers perceive depression: a worksite case study. Work. 2009;33(1):13–22.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Thorne S, Reimer Kirkham S, O’Flynn-Magee K. The analytic challenge in interpretive description. Int J Qual Methods. 2004;3(1):1.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sandelowski M. Foreword. In: Thorne SE, editor. Interpretive description. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press; 2008. p. 11–4.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Gallagher F. Descriptive and interpretive research – Description of psychosocial needs of women with breast cancer. In: Corbière M, Larivière N, editors. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods in research related to humanities, social and health sciences. Québec: Presses de l’Université du Québec; 2014. p. 5–28.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Kitzinger J. Qualitative research: introducing focus groups. Br Med J. 1995;311:299–302. doi: 10.1136/bmj.311.7000.299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Desrosiers J, Larivière N. Focus group – Application for collecting data on the functioning of people with a personality disorder. In: Corbière M, Larivière N, editors. Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods in research related to humanities, social and health sciences. Québec: Presses de l’Université du Québec (PUQ); 2014. p. 257–82.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Corbière M, St-Arnaud L, Durand M-J, Coutu M-F, Lecomte T, Negrini A, et al. Factors influencing the return to work of individuals who have experienced depression - the unions’ viewpoint and role. Studies and research projects/report R-805. Montréal, QC: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et sécurité au travail (IRSST); 2014.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Harrison D. Les réseaux d’entraide à la FTQ et à la CSN. Québec: Centre de recherche sur les innovaions sociales (CRISES); 2012.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Kitzinger J. The methodology of focus groups: the importance of interaction between research participants. Sociol Health Illn. 1994;16(1):103–21. doi: 10.1111/1467-9566.ep11347023.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Corbière M, Negrini A, Dewa CS. Mental health problems and mental disorders: linked determinants to work participation and work functionning. In: Loisel P, Anema JR, editors. Handbook of work disability: prevention and management. New York: Springer Science + Business Media; 2013.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    St-Arnaud L, Pelletier M. Handbook for supporting return to work and job tenure. Studies and research projects/report RG-758. Montréal: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et sécurité du travail (IRSST); 2013.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Miles MB, Huberman AM. Analyse des données qualitatives. Paris: De Boeck Université; 2003.Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Van der Maren J-M. Méthodes de recherche pour l’éducation. Montréal: Les presses de l’Université de Montréal; 1995.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    St-Arnaud L. From rehabilitation to prevention – challenges for the development of new practices related to recovery and return to work. Boucherville: Colloque de l’Association des professionnelles et professionnels en santé et sécurité au travail; 2009.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Trach J, Mayhall C. Analysis of the types of natural supports utilized during job placement and development. J Rehabil. 1997;63(2):43.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Corbière M, Villotti P, Lecomte T, Bond G, Lesage A, Goldner E. Work accommodations and natural supports for maintaining employment. Psychiatr Rehabil J. 2014;37(2):90–8. doi: 10.1037/prj0000033
  43. 43.
    Stansfeld SA, Fuhrer R, Shipley MJ, Marmot MG. Work characteristics predict psychiatric disorder: prospective results from the Whitehall II study. Occup Environ Med. 1999;56(5):302–7.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Coutu MF, Nastasia I, Durand MJ, Corbière M, Loisel P, Lemieux P, et al. A systematic approach for identifying the psychological health and work-related determinants of occupational disability in a target Sector. Studies and research projects/report R-579. Montreal: Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et sécurité du travail (IRSST); 2011.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Niedhammer I, Goldberg M, Leclerc A, Bugel I, David S. Psychosocial factors at work and subsequent depressive symptoms in the Gazel cohort. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1998;24(3):197–205.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Corrigan PW, Penn DL. Lessons from social psychology on discrediting psychiatric stigma. Am Psychol. 1999;54(9):765–76.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Islam MR, Hewstone M. Dimensions of contact as predictors of intergroup anxiety, perceived out-group variability, and out-group attitude: an integrative model. Personal Soc Psychol Bull. 1993;19(6):700–10. doi: 10.1177/0146167293196005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Kolodziej ME, Johnson BT. Interpersonal contact and acceptance of persons with psychiatric disorders: a research synthesis. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1996;64(6):1387–96.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Bilsker D, Gilbert M, Samra J. Antidepressant skills at work: Dealing with mood problems in the workplace. Vancouver: Centre for Applied Research in Mental Health and Addiction (CARMHA); 2007.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Corbière M, Samson E, Villotti P, Pelletier JF. Strategies to fight stigma toward people with mental disorders: perspectives from different stakeholders. Sci World J 2012:1–10. doi: 10.1100/2012/516358.
  51. 51.
    MSSS. L’invalidité pour cause de troubles mentaux chez le personnel du réseau de la santé et des services sociaux. Rapport et recommandations du groupe de travail. Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux, Gouvernement du Québec; 2005.Google Scholar
  52. 52.
    Fleury MJ, Imboua A, Aube D, Farand L, Lambert Y. General practitioners’ management of mental disorders: a rewarding practice with considerable obstacles. BMC Fam Pract. 2012;13:19.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    MSSS. Évaluation de l’implantation du Plan d’action en santé mentale 2005–2010. Québec: Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux; 2012.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Corbière
    • 1
  • Marianne Renard
    • 1
  • Louise St-Arnaud
    • 2
  • Marie-France Coutu
    • 1
  • Alessia Negrini
    • 3
  • Geneviève Sauvé
    • 1
  • Tania Lecomte
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Action in Work Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (CAPRIT), School of RehabilitationUniversité de SherbrookeLongueuilCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of Education, Centre de recherche et d’intervention sur l’éducation et la vie au travail (CRIEVAT)Université LavalQuebecCanada
  3. 3.Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST)MontrealCanada
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations