School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


a man mowing a sports pitch

Work and Health Research Centre

Effects on working life of medication prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and depression (HSE)

Research Team

Sarah Atkinson
Sue Brown
Professor Cheryl Haslam
Professor Roger Haslam

This research collected new and in-depth data on the use of psychotropic medication among the working population to improve understanding of the impact of mental health problems and the treatment for these conditions on performance in the workplace.

Study aims

Examine the relationship between psychological morbidity, prescribed medication, and work performance, in different groups of workers
Investigate the relationship between prescribed medication and self-reported incidence of accidents and 'near miss' experiences
Explore the issue of mental health problems among employees from the employer's perspective
Review the implications that the research findings have for the advice that should be given to workers and employers
Focus Groups

Focus groups were used to explore:

experiences of depression, anxiety and compulsive disorders
use of prescribed medication for these disorders;
compliance with treatment regimens and improvement in symptoms.
The research examined the effects of both mental health problems and drug treatments on work performance, including effects on absenteeism and risk of accidents; effects on relationships with colleagues and the extent to which employers support employees who are experiencing mental health problems.

Go to HSE website to view full report of findings →