Psychotropic Drug Consumption and Employment Status
in Time of Economic Crisis (2007–2011)
Cesare Maria Cornaggia
Published online: 6 July 2016
Ó Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016
Abstract Psychiatric disorders and in particular depression have increased during the
‘‘Great Recession’’. The aim of this study was to investigate the consumption of psy-
chotropic drugs in people who lost their permanent employment, using administrative data.
The study considered all of the subjects domiciled in Lombardy, Northern Italy, who lost a
permanent employment between 2008 and 2010, not assuming psychotropic drugs and who
did not ﬁnd a new job within the following 12 months. The control group included people
who did not lose permanent job in the study period, matched to the cases for gender, age,
nationality, skill level, education and economic sector, using propensity score matching.
The subjects who lost their permanent employment were 17 % more likely to receive one
or more drug prescriptions than the controls, but the difference was signiﬁcant only for
males. Females, subjects aged [50 years, low skill level workers and Italians were more
likely to have received a prescription for psychotropic drugs than respectively males,
subjects aged 20–29 years or aged 30–39 years, low skill level workers and non-Italians.
The average number of drugs prescribed for those who lost their job and those who
continued working was respectively 2.9 and 3.1. In conclusion, losing a permanent job
increases signiﬁcantly psychotropic drugs consumption in males but not in females.
Keywords Prescription Á Psychotropic drugs Á Unemployment Á Great recession Á
Administrative data Á Permanent job
& Massimiliano Beghi
School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano-Bicocca, via Cadore 48, 20052 Monza, MB,
Department of Mental Health, ASST-Rhodense, via S. Tommaso d’Aquino 2, 20017 Rho, MI, Italy
CRISP, University of Milano-Bicocca, Piazza Della Scienza 3, 20126 Milan, Italy
Department of Economy and Statistics, University of Milano-Bicocca, via Bicocca degli
Arcimboldi 8, 20126 Milan, Italy
Psychiatr Q (2017) 88:371–384