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Stress management and innovation interventions at work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date02/1996
JournalHuman Relations
Journal number2
Volume49
Number of pages24
Pages209-232
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

A study among health-care workers is reported where a traditional stress management program (n = 66) was compared with an intervention promoting innovation at work as a form of stress management (n = 52), and a control group (n = 84). Measures relating to both the process of participation in the respective interventions, and outcome in terms of psychological well-being were taken. The traditional program, emphasizing cognitive-behavioral and arousal reduction techniques, was associated with improvements in general psychological strain and job satisfaction. The intervention promoting innovative responses to stressors (e.g., changing work methods, modifying working relations with colleagues) was associated with improvements in work-related stress, and innovation. Statistical analysis suggested session process variables, in addition to the theoretical orientations of the respective interventions, were associated with outcome variance. Follow-up data, 1 year post-intervention, suggested short-term gains on outcome variables relating to psychological well-being were not maintained. However, increases in levels of innovation, although not apparent post-intervention (3 months), were significant after 1 year. It is concluded that stress management research should focus more on process variables, and that interventions promoting innovation at work, show some promise in addressing occupational strain.