Depression Among Injured Workers Receiving Vocational Rehabilitation: Contributions of Work Values, Pain, and Stress

  • Bryan D. Stice
  • Bryan J. Dik


Introduction Work-related injuries or disabilities result in significant negative consequences to physical, economic, social, and psychological well-being. Depression has been shown to increase post-injury and to contribute to poor return to work outcomes. The primary goals of the study were to test known correlates of depression in a sample of injured workers receiving vocational rehabilitation and to assess the unique contribution of work values in injured worker depression. Method Scores on depression, stress, pain, work values, and demographic information were obtained from an archived sample of 253 injured workers receiving vocational rehabilitation. Results Hierarchical multiple linear regression was used for analyses, resulting in a final model with a “large” effect size (R 2 = 0.42). The accepting vs. investigative work value dimension accounted for variance in depression scores beyond that accounted for by covariates and other significant correlates. Of the study variables, significant regression coefficients were found for pain, psychosocial stress, an interaction between pain and stress, and having an accepting work value. Conclusions Injured workers experiencing higher levels of pain and stress and who prefer to avoid workplace challenges may be vulnerable to experiencing depression. Results suggest that the presence of pain, stress, and the accepting work value dimension should be monitored in injured workers, and that the role of work values in injured worker depression may be a fruitful area for further research.


Injured workers Vocational rehabilitation Rehabilitation Depression Work values 



The authors greatly thank Dennis C. Stice, PhD for the use of his data in conducting this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Counseling & Testing ServicesUniversity of OklahomaNormanUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyColorado State UniversityFort CollinsUSA

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