Americans Experiencing A Vacation Deficit Are More Likely To Show Signs Of Moderate To Severe Depression


RICHMOND, Va.,  /PRNewswire/ -- Americans suffering from a "vacation deficit" are nearly two times as likely to show signs of moderately severe to severe depression compared to the national average, according to the 10th annual Allianz Global Assistance Vacation Confidence Index. "Vacation deficit" identifies those who think that a vacation is important but are not confident they will take one this year.

"Vacation Deficit Disorder," or the relationship between a lack of vacation and depression and vice versa, was identified by international polling experts Ipsos, which administered the PHQ-9 survey, a clinically validated screening questionnaire to test likely levels of depression, to a statistically significant sampling of American travelers.

Almost one-third (30.4 percent) of Americans with a vacation deficit demonstrate symptoms of mild to moderate depression, while 12 percent would be considered to be suffering signs of moderately severe to severe depression. Meanwhile, of the general population, those identified as displaying signs of moderately severe or severe depression are significantly less likely to have taken a vacation in the past two years, and are less likely to take a vacation in 2018.

"While we have long known that Americans under utilize their vacation time, this shows the real consequences this can have for their health and well-being," said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. "While this research shows a relationship between the lack of vacation and signs of clinical depression, more comprehensive work is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of not taking a vacation on the mental health of Americans."

Highlights from the survey findings are presented in this video.

                                 Vacation Deficit Disorder

    Depression Severity Suffering                     Not suffering             National Average
                        "Vacation Deficit"            "Vacation Deficit"
    ---                 ------------------            ------------------

    Not at all                                31.2%                      39.0%                     38%
    ----------                                 ----                        ----                      ---

    Minimal                                   26.4%                      33.4%                   32.5%
    -------                                    ----                        ----                     ----

    Mild/Moderate                             30.4%                      22.3%                   23.3%
    -------------                              ----                        ----                     ----

    Moderately Severe/
     Severe                                   12.0%                       5.3%                    6.2%
    ------------------                         ----                         ---                      ---

To understand whether there was a link between depression and the incidence of vacationing, Ipsos, in partnership with Allianz, administered the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) survey, an initial screening tool used by medical professionals to identify symptoms of depression.

The results suggest that there could be a link for those with more severe symptoms of depression and their propensity to take a vacation, despite being more insistent on its importance.

The data showed the following among those who were identified as potentially having moderately severe or severe depression:

                                                 Vacation Deficit Disorder

     Confidence      Showing Signs of Moderately                               National Average
                     Severe or Severe Depression
    ---              ---------------------------

    An annual
     vacation is
     very important                                                        40%                  31%
    ---------------                                                        ---                   ---

    Very confident
     in taking a
     summer vacation                                                       24%                  32%
    ----------------                                                       ---                   ---

    Typically get a
     summer vacation                                                       39%                  46%
    ----------------                                                       ---                   ---

    Did not take a
     2017 summer
     vacation                                                              62%                  47%
    --------------                                                         ---                   ---

    Last vacation
     was more than
     two years ago                                                         56%                  38%
    --------------                                                         ---                   ---

    Very confident
     in taking a
     vacation in
     2018 at any
     point                                                                 23%                  35%
    --------------                                                         ---                   ---

The 10th annual Vacation Confidence Index poll by Ipsos for Allianz Global Assistance provides an opportunity to look back at how Americans' vacation habits have changed over the past decade.

Among the 58% of Americans who say it's important that they get a vacation each year, 67% are confident that they'll get one. This leaves a vacation deficit of 21% of Americans who find annual vacations important but aren't confident they'll take one in the next 12 months - unchanged since last year--while one in ten (11%) have already taken one.

The Vacation Confidence Index has been conducted each summer since 2010 by national polling firm Ipsos Public Affairs on behalf of Allianz Global Assistance USA. A vacation is defined as a leisure trip of at least a week to a place that is 100 miles or more from home.

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit:

Methodology: These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Allianz from June 1 for 4, 2017. For the survey, a nationally representative sample of 1,009 randomly-selected adults residing in the U.S. was interviewed by random-digit dialing telephone via the ORC Caravan omnibus. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate within ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire population of adults in the U.S. been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. These data were weighted to ensure the sample's regional and age/gender composition reflects that of the actual U.S. population according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Allianz Global Assistance USA
Allianz Global Assistance USA (AGA Service Company) is a leading consumer specialty insurance and assistance company. We provide insurance to over 35 million customers annually and are best known for our Allianz Travel Insurance plans. In addition to travel insurance, Allianz Global Assistance USA offers tuition insurance, event ticket protection, registration protection for endurance events and unique travel assistance services such as international medical assistance and concierge services. The company also serves as an outsource provider for in-bound call center services and claims administration for property and casualty insurers and credit card companies.

To learn more about Allianz Travel Insurance, please visit or Like us on Facebook at

** - Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply to all plans. Plans are available only to U.S. residents. Not all plans are available in all jurisdictions. For a complete description of the coverage and benefit limits offered under your plan, carefully review your plan's Letter of Confirmation/Declarations and Certificate of Insurance/Policy. Insurance coverage is underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated "A-" (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated "A+" (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101-C series or 101-P series, depending on state of residence. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are brands of AGA Service Company. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of these plans and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson Insurance Company. Non-insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company.

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SOURCE Allianz Global Assistance USA


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