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ORIGINAL PAPER
 
CC BY-NC 3.0 Polska
 
 

Protecting and promoting mental health of nurses in the hospital setting: Is it cost-effective from an employer’s perspective?

Cindy Noben 1, 2  ,  
Silvia Evers 1, 2,  
Filip Smit 1, 4, 5
 
1
Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction), Utrecht, the Netherlands (Department of Public Mental Health)
2
Maastricht University, Maastricht, the Netherlands (Department of Health Services Research, CAPHRI School of Public Health and Primary Care)
3
Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Coronel Institute of Occupational Health)
4
VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research)
5
VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (Department of Clinical Psychology, EMGO+ Institute for Health and Care Research)
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2015;28(5):891–900
KEYWORDS:
TOPICS:
ABSTRACT:
Objectives: Nurses are at elevated risk of burnout, anxiety and depressive disorders, and may then become less productive. This begs the question if a preventive intervention in the work setting might be cost-saving from a business perspective. Material and Methods: A cost-benefit analysis was conducted to evaluate the balance between the costs of a preventive intervention among nurses at elevated risk of mental health complaints and the cost offsets stemming from improved productivity. This evaluation was conducted alongside a cluster-randomized trial in a Dutch academic hospital. The control condition consisted of screening without feedback and unrestricted access to usual care (N = 206). In the experimental condition screen-positive nurses received personalized feedback and referral to the occupational physician (N = 207). Results: Subtracting intervention costs from the cost offsets due to reduced absenteeism and presenteeism resulted in net-savings of 244 euros per nurse when only absenteeism is regarded, and 651 euros when presenteeism is also taken into account. This corresponds to a return-on-investment of 5 euros up to 11 euros for every euro invested. Conclusions: Within half a year, the cost of offering the preventive intervention was more than recouped. Offering the preventive intervention represents a favorable business case as seen from the employer’s perspective.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Cindy Noben   
Maastricht University, Department of Health Services Research, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, the Netherlands
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087