Berlin - Days absent due to mental illnesses have reached new record level among DAK insured persons: With 1.9 million insured persons, mental illness caused 6.3 million absent days in 2014. “This was the first time that they were in second place among the types of illness for absent days after musculoskeletal disorders ”, said Susanne Hildebrandt vomheute in Berlin.
For the“ ”commissioned by DAK-Gesundheit, the institute evaluated the anonymized data of around 2.6 million employed insured persons. “The results of the psycho report not only illustrate the need for action. They also motivate us to develop new offers that improve care, ”said Herbert Rebscher, CEO of DAK-Gesundheit.
Additional diagnosis of burnout is becoming less important According to the psychoreport, depression and adjustment disorders or reactions to heavy loads cause most days of absence, broken down into diagnoses. 112 days of absence per 100 insured persons were caused by depression, 42 for adjustment disorders. The additional diagnosis of burnout, on the other hand, is clearly less relevant: in the past year, only 5.2 days of absence were caused. Compared to 2011, the number has almost halved. "Burnout has now become more of description of risky state," explained Hans-Peter Unger, chief physician at the Center for Mental Health at the Asklepios Clinic Hamburg-Harburg. "Mental illnesses caused by chronic stress are now recognized as adjustment disorders or depression."
Women are almost twice as likely to be on sick leave due to mental disorders as men. The DAK Psychoreport also shows significant increases in men: For example, the number of days lost due to adjustment disorders among 15 to 19 year olds increased by almost 250 percent within nine years.
Most absent days are in Saarland There are clear regional differences in absent days due to mental illness: While in Saarland last year 306 absent days per 100 insured persons were justified with the corresponding diagnoses, in Bavaria there were only 193 and in Baden-Württemberg 197. "The Saarland generally has high level of sick leave," emphasized Susanne Hildebrandt.
The IGES employee was unable to explain why this is so. The major cities of Berlin and Hamburg occupy second and third place in the psycho-statistics with 292 and 289 days of absence per 100 insured persons. The eastern German federal states are in the midfield for lost days - but the increases are particularly strong here: In Brandenburg, for example, the value almost tripled between 2000 and 2014.
"With low-threshold treatment concepts and the use of quality-tested e-health programs, we want to adapt the current offer to the actual needs of those affected, and prevent long waiting times and misdiagnoses," said Rebscher. One module here could be the interactive web-based self-help program "Deprexis" to support people with mild to moderate depression.
The Deprexis developed by the Munich company Servier can be used on PC, tablet or smartphone and is based on methods from cognitive behavioral therapy. The patients can remain anonymous. Therapists who use Deprexis to accompany the treatment can find out more about the content and exercises online - provided the patient agrees to the exchange An unpublished study, which Bielefeld University carried out together with the DAK, examined the Deprexis program for its effectiveness. 3,800 people with varying degrees of depressive symptoms took part in the study. They were interviewed regularly for over year. The result is positive: "With the support of Deprexis, the degree of depression decreases significantly in relatively short time," said study leader Wolfgang Greiner, health scientist at Bielefeld University. “This shows that the program usually helps the patient directly.” In addition, professional and social functioning has improved significantly. In addition, the online program reduces costs for the health insurance companies.
The DAK sees the online program as way of bridging waiting times until psychotherapy, but also after hospital or rehabilitation stay to stabilize the patient. "Deprexis must definitely be integrated into care concept, and we are currently examining which of these can be," said Rebscher. Integrated care offers would come into question.
The DAK now wants to increasingly approach general practitioners, psychiatrists and psychotherapists in order to promote the online program. One is in discussion with the relevant professional associations.