Objectives The aim of the present study was to investigate whether participation in a structured resource-enhancing group intervention at work would act as primary prevention against depression. The authors analysed whether the intervention resulted in universal, selected or indicated prevention.
Methods A total of 566 persons participated in a prospective, within-organisation, randomly assigned field experimental study, which consisted of 34 workshops in 17 organisations. The participants filled in a questionnaire, were randomly assigned to either intervention (n=296) or comparison (n=324) groups and returned another questionnaire 7 months later. The intervention, lasting four half-day sessions, was delivered by trainers from occupational health services and human resources. The aim of the structured programme was to enhance participants' career management preparedness by strengthening self-efficacy and inoculation against setbacks. The comparison group received a literature package. The authors measured depressive symptoms using the short version of the Beck Depression Inventory. A high number of depressive symptoms (over 9 points) were used as a proxy for depression.
Results At follow-up, the odds of depression were lower in the intervention group (OR=0.40, 95% CI 0.19 to 0.85) than in the comparison group when adjusted for baseline depressive symptoms, job strain and socio-demographics. In addition, the odds of depression among those with job strain (OR=0.15, 95% CI 0.03–0.81) at baseline were lower after the intervention. The intervention had no statistically significant effect on those with depressive symptoms (over 4 points) at baseline.
Conclusion The resource-enhancing group intervention appeared to be successful as universal and selective prevention of potential depression.
- group intervention
- primary prevention
- organ system
- disease type
- general expertise
- exposures and occupational groups
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Funding This article is based on research supported by the Finnish Work Environment Fund (106093), the Finnish Ministry of Finance (31/37/2007) and the Academy of Finland (124294).
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.