Machine learning models for predicting depression in Korean young employees

Suk Sun Kim, Minji Gil, Eun Jeong Min

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: The incidence of depression among employees has gradually risen. Previous studies have focused on predicting the risk of depression, but most studies were conducted using basic statistical methods. This study used machine learning algorithms to build models that detect and identify the important factors associated with depression in the workplace. Methods: A total of 503 employees completed an online survey that included questionnaires on general characteristics, physical health, job-related factors, psychosocial protective, and risk factors in the workplace. The dataset contained 27 predictor variables and one dependent variable which referred to the status of employees (normal or at the risk of depression). The prediction accuracy of three machine learning models using sparse logistic regression, support vector machine, and random forest was compared with the accuracy, precision, sensitivity, specificity, and AUC. Additionally, the important factors identified via sparse logistic regression and random forest. Results: All machine learning models demonstrated similar results, with the lowest accuracy obtained from sparse logistic regression and support vector machine (86.8%) and the highest accuracy from random forest (88.7%). The important factors identified in this study were gender, physical health, job, psychosocial protective factors, and psychosocial risk and protective factors in the workplace. Discussion: The results of this study indicated the potential of machine learning models to accurately predict the risk of depression among employees. The identified factors that influence the risk of depression can contribute to the development of intelligent mental healthcare systems that can detect early signs of depressive symptoms in the workplace.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1201054
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Kim, Gil and Min.


  • depression
  • employees
  • machine learning
  • prediction
  • workplace


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