The association between loss of work ability and depression: a focus on employment status

Sang Ah Lee, Yeong Jun Ju, Kyu Tae Han, Jae Woo Choi, Hyo Jung Yoon, Eun Cheol Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Work-related factors are one of the known risk factors for depression. Given that the ability to work is considered an important aspect of well-being and health status, we investigated the association between the loss of work ability and depression. We further examined the association stratified by employment status. Methods: We used data from the Korea Welfare Panel Study. The dependent variable of the present study was depression, which is measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Work ability transition from the previous year was divided into three categories: maintained, loss, and complete loss. A linear mixed-effects model was performed for the analysis. Results: The work ability loss group (β = 2.071, p < 0.0002) and the work ability completely loss group (β = 2.651, p = 0.015) had higher depression scores compared to those who maintained their work ability from the previous year. Specifically, those who lost their work ability and their job (β = 3.685, p = 0.0068) had the highest depression scores compared to those who maintained their work ability and job. Conclusions: We found that those who lost their ability to work may be at risk of depression, and this finding was particularly prominent among those who also became unemployed. Therefore, psychological support is needed for these individuals to overcome the negative influence of the loss of work ability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-116
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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