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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Workplace interventions to reduce depression and anxiety in small and medium-sized enterprises: A systematic review
Author(s): Hogg, Bridget
Medina, Joan Carles
Gardoki-Souto, Itxaso
Serbanescu, Ilinca
Moreno-Alcázar, Ana
Cerga-Pashoja, Arlinda
Coppens, Evelien
Tóth, Mónika Ditta
Fanaj, Naim
Greiner, Birgit A
Holland, Carolyn
Kõlves, Kairi
Maxwell, Margaret
Qirjako, Gentiana
de Winter, Lars
Keywords: Psychosocial
Small- and medium-sized enterprises
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2021
Date Deposited: 1-Jun-2021
Citation: Hogg B, Medina JC, Gardoki-Souto I, Serbanescu I, Moreno-Alcázar A, Cerga-Pashoja A, Coppens E, Tóth MD, Fanaj N, Greiner BA, Holland C, Kõlves K, Maxwell M, Qirjako G & de Winter L (2021) Workplace interventions to reduce depression and anxiety in small and medium-sized enterprises: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders, 290, pp. 378-386.
Abstract: Background: Depression and anxiety are the most prevalent mental health difficulties in the workplace, costing the global economy $1 trillion each year. Evidence indicates that symptoms may be reduced by interventions in the workplace. This paper is the first to systematically review psychosocial interventions for depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation and behaviours in small-to medium-size enterprises (SMEs). Methods: A systematic search following PRISMA guidelines, registered in PROSPERO (CRD42020156275), was conducted for psychosocial interventions targeting depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation/behaviour in SMEs. The PubMed, PsycINFO, Scopus, and two specific occupational health databases were searched, as well as four databases for grey literature, without time limit until 2nd December 2019. Results: In total, 1283 records were identified, 70 were retained for full-text screening, and seven met the inclusion criteria: three randomised controlled trials (RCTs), three before and after designs and one non-randomised trial, comprising 5111 participants. Study quality was low to moderate according to the Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies. Five studies showed a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms using techniques based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), two reported no significant change. Limitations: Low number and high heterogeneity of interventions and outcomes, high attrition and lack of rigorous RCTs. Conclusions: Preliminary evidence indicates CBT-based interventions can be effective in targeting symptoms of depression and anxiety in SME employees. There may be unique challenges to implementing programmes in SMEs. Further research is needed in this important area.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.jad.2021.04.071
Rights: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. You are not required to obtain permission to reuse this article.
Notes: Additional co-authors: Ulrich Hegerl, Victor Pérez-Sola, Ella Arensman, Benedikt L Amann
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