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Decreasing the Negative Effects of Work-Related Stress in Unchanged Working Environments

Adrienne STAUDER Contact / Kontakt / Kapcsolat, Zoltán CSERHÁTI & Barna KONKOLŸ THEGE
EJMH Vol 13 Issue 2 (2018) 163-183; https://doi.org/10.5708/EJMH.13.2018.2.4
Received: 11 October 2017; accepted: 8 November 2018; online date: 13 December 2018 
Section: Research Papers 
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Corresponding author:
Dr. Adrienn STAUDER
Semmelweis Egyetem
Általános Orvosi Kar
Magatartástudományi Intézet
H-1089 Budapest
Nagyvárad tér 4., 19. em.
Hungary/Ungarn
stauder.adrienne@med.semmelweis-univ.hu
ABSTRACT

GB

Background: Chronic work-related stress has a negative impact on both physical and mental health. The present translational study’s goal was to investigate the effectiveness of an individual-focused, standardised coping skills training provided outside the employment setting.

Methods: 89 working individuals (76 women, 13 men; mean age: 41.3 years) from diverse occupational backgrounds completed a 12-hour stress management program. Work stress and overcommitment were measured by the Effort-Reward Imbalance Questionnaire (ERI). Outcome variables included perceived stress (PSS10), anxiety- (STAI-T), depressive- (BDI), and subjective somatic symptoms (PHQ15), as well as well-being (WHO-WB5), life meaning (BSCI-LM), coping skills (LSS), and overall life satisfaction.

Results: The post-intervention scores showed no change in work-related stress or overcommitment, whilst coping skills improved. Further, anxiety-, depression- and somatic symptoms decreased significantly and there was a significant increase in well-being, life meaning, and life satisfaction scores. These improvements were observed mostly in the subgroup reporting higher initial levels of work stress, associated with higher symptom scores. In the low-stress subgroup, only coping skills, perceived stress, and life meaning scores improved.

Conclusions: A short, well-structured multimodal coping skills training can significantly reduce overall stress level and stress-related symptoms, and improve well-being and satisfaction in employees suffering from high work stress even if the work environment remains unchanged.

KEYWORDS

work stress, effort-reward imbalance, intervention, depression, anxiety, somatic symptoms, well-being