The Benefits of Intervention for Work-Related Stress

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The Benefits of Interventions for Work-Related Stress

Objectives. This quantitative metaanalysis sought to determine the effectiveness of occupational stress–reducing interventions and the populations for which such interventions are most beneficial. Methods. Forty-eight experimental studies (n = 3736) were included in the analysis. Four intervention types were distinguished: cognitive–behavioral interventions, relaxation techniques, multimodal programs, and organizationfocused interventions. Results. A small but significant overall effect was found. A moderate effect was found for cognitive–behavioral interventions and multimodal interventions, and a small effect was found for relaxation techniques. The effect size for organization-focused interventions was nonsignificant. Effects were most pronounced on the following outcome categories: complaints, psychologic resources and responses, and perceived quality of work life. Conclusions. Stress management interventions are effective. Cognitive– behavioral interventions are more effective than the other intervention types. (Am J Public Health. 2001;91:270–276)

Jac J. L. van der Klink, MD, MSc, Roland W. B. Blonk, PhD, Aart H. Schene, PhD, MD, and Frank J. H. van Dijk, PhD, MD The efficacy and cost-effectiveness of interventions designed for patients with emotional difficulties is a relevant topic in general practice.1 Such considerations also apply in occupational health care. With the increases in workloads of the past decades, the number of employees experiencing psychologic problems related to occupational stress has increased rapidly in Western countries.2 At the societal level, costs are considerable in terms of absenteeism, loss of productivity, and health care consumption. In Britain, it is estimated that 40 million workdays are lost to the nation’s economy owing to mental and emotional problems.3 At the individual level, there are costs in terms of high rates of tension, anger, anxiety,...
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