If you’re looking to sell your services to big or small business, here’s some information that can help seal the deal. A new study shows that talk therapy slashes the amount of sick time an employee needs and can also reduce the amount of medical care required.
The British study appeared in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, a publication of the British Medical Journal. It focused on data collected from 152,000 patients in London and Yorkshire. It compared people who sought medical care with or without mental health problems between 2007 and 2009 with people who had sought treatment for mental health issues.
Not surprisingly, people who had untreated mental health problems were five times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants and be admitted to a hospital. They were also 10 times more likely to hand their bosses a sick note excusing them from work than people with no mental health problems. And, they used emergency care more often.
“There were marked differences between those with [mental health problems] and people referred to [talk therapy] and the rest of the registered population,” the authors said. “At a time when there is pressure to control increasing health costs, this study suggests that [therapy] may contribute to reducing health service usage.”
The study was prompted by a new program in the UK called Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT). The theory was that people who took advantage of the talk therapy would need less overall medical care and would miss fewer work days, and that was borne out.
An additional advantage: IAPT patients who were on medication were more apt to stick to their drug therapies, which also led to better overall health.
- John Nelander, Contributing Editor