Article i 'Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv' no. 2 2007, page 28-37.
English resume

Experiences from a stress clinic

Bo Netterstrøm


Aim
To test the effect of a multidisciplinary stress management programme on sick leave and physiological measures.
Methods
63 employed persons aged 25 to 61 years were referred to a stress management programme at the Clinic of Occupational Medicine in 2003 and 2004.
The stress management program consisted of the following:

  1. During the consultations identification of relevant stressors were carried out.
  2. Relevant stress related situations were identified in order to change the coping strategies of the participants.
  3. Decrease in workload and tasks were often needed. Part time sick leave or changing of work tasks were negotiated with the employer and at the time of return to work, agreement with the employer was made in order to avoid the kind of stressors that were considered responsible for creating stress in the individual.
  4. The participants were taught relaxation techniques in order to give them a tool in daily day life to relax for few minutes when needed.
  5. All were encouraged to take up physical exercise at least 2 hours a week in order to improve their physical condition and mental well being.
  6. Some of the participants scored high on the used scale for depression and were referred to psychiatric evaluation.

In average each patient went through 6 one hour sessions during four months.
34 employees served as a control group. They had a one hour consultation at baseline, and after 4 months. After one and two years an evaluation took place.
Questionnaires regarding stress symptoms, SF36 and depression (WHO scale) were filled out at baseline, after 4 months and one and two years.
Results
The sick leave rate in the stress management group dropped from 50 percent to 17 percent during the first year of follow up and remained stable. In the control group the reduction in sick leave rate was significantly slower. After 4 months the sick leave rate was significantly higher, whereas no significant difference between the two groups was observed after 1 and 2 years.
In both groups scores form stress symptoms and depression decreased significantly during four month and the next eight months.
Conclusion
The stress management programme showed a significant effect on sick leave rate, whereas no significant differences on stress related symptoms where observed between the two groups. The stress management programme seemed to be feasible for general practitioners.



Tidsskrift for arbejdsliv

(Journal for Working Life)


 

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