Impact of evidence-based psychotherapy on employee retention A cohort study on employer-sponsored mental health care

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Maja Falcon, PhD Connie E. Chen, MD Roja Bandari, PhD Bob Kocher, MD Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH


Objective: To examine the relationship between mental health treatment and employee retention.

Study Design: Retrospective Cohort Study

Methods: 14 companies (184,715 employees) were studied evaluating retention among individuals who used an evidence-based mental health benefit.  Among three companies who provided health plan claims (n=24,947), we compared 1,966 employees who used the evidence-based mental health benefit and 1,063 who had usual care. Survival analysis was used to compare the probability of staying at the company for the two cohorts.  Cox Proportional Hazards Models were used to evaluate the hazard ratio of leaving the company for those who used the evidence-based mental health benefit versus usual care.

Results: Among 14 companies (184,715 employees) with the evidence-based mental health benefit, 11% who used the evidence-based mental health benefit left the company within 12 months, compared to 22% of those who did not. Among three companies who provided health plan claims, 12 month rates of employee turnover were 7% for the evidence-based mental health benefit versus 15% for health plan psychotherapy (p<0.005). Among the subgroup of employees with an anxiety diagnosis, the relative risk of employees leaving the company was 27% lower among those who used the evidence-based mental health benefit versus usual care (p=0.03).

Limitations: Employees have the option to choose between the evidence-based mental health benefit and usual care so we are not able to account for immeasurable differences between the two groups.

Conclusions: Use of an evidence-based mental health benefit over health plan mental health care (usual care) is associated with lower employee turnover.

Keywords: Psychotherapy, Employee Assistance Program, Mental Health, Depression, Anxiety, Employee Turnover, Evidence-based treatment, Productivity

Article Details

How to Cite
FALCON, Maja et al. Impact of evidence-based psychotherapy on employee retention. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 11, nov. 2021. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 may 2024. doi:
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