Workplace Interventions for Stress Reduction and Prevention.
Causes, Coping, and Consequences of Stress at Work 1988:301-339
Stress interventions for use in the workplace were reviewed, including employee assistance programs, stress management training, and stressor reduction strategies. The primary psychosocial stressors identified by labor groups were lack of control over work content and operations, unrealistic task demands, lack of understanding by supervisors and management, and lack of predictability and security about their job future. Psychosocial stressors identified by corporate groups included personality traits, lifestyle behaviors, interpersonal relationships, and family problems, with little emphasis placed on the work environment. Recommended stress reduction actions for both groups were summarized. The structure and function of employee assistance programs were described in relation to tertiary prevention for problem drinkers. Suggested improvements for such programs included increased feedback mechanisms allowing employee assistance programs to pinpoint stressful work environment factors. The use of stress management training in work settings generally focused on stress prevention rather than the treatment of workers with evident stress problems and health risks. Work stressor reduction interventions were identified as the most straightforward organizational stress reduction intervention. Limitations of stressor reduction interventions included cost and implementation problems imposed by organizational structure and function. Intervention studies summarized included worker participation in decision making, increased job autonomy, and work schedule autonomy. The author concludes that comprehensive stress intervention strategies including individual worker and organizational factors are the most effective means to reduce and prevent stress in the workplace.
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