Using lifestyle and coping to reduce job stress and improve health in ‘at risk’ office workers
Published on Jul 1, 1999in Stress Medicine
· DOI :10.1002/(SICI)1099-1700(199907)15:3<143::AID-SMI808>3.0.CO;2-4
This study assessed the effectiveness of an intervention programme which employed previously identified lifestyle and coping strategies to reduce the subjective experience and effects of work-related stress. Employees (104) working in a government tax office with identified stress-related symptoms were randomized to enter an intervention group (52) or a control group (52). Pre- and post-programme questionnaire assessments of work-related stress, coping strategies, physical health and lifestyle as well as physiological assessments (blood pressure and body mass index) were used to evaluate changes following an 8-week programme implementation phase. The programme comprised four weekly workshops on stress and lifestyle education as well as stress-coping skills training, followed by individual counselling sessions and a personalized action plan. Control group members were offered the same programme after post-programme assessment. There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention and control groups for stress and health indicators at post-programme. A 12-week post-intervention follow-up showed reductions in perceived workplace (p<0.01) and home/work (p=0.05) stress. The data suggest that relatively short interventions with individual follow-up can reduce perceptions of stress even where workplace stressors have not changed. Copyright © 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.