Decreasing the Negative Effects of Work-Related Stress in Unchanged Working Environments
European Journal of Mental Health
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 individualfocused, 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
... -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.