Stress-Management Interventions May Aid Health Care Workers

Interventions that focus on the experience of stress may reduce stress symptoms in the short and medium term, with low-certainty evidence.

HealthDay News Stress-management interventions may help individual health care workers over the short term, according to research published online May 12 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

Sietske J. Tamminga, Ph.D., from the University of Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to evaluate the effectiveness of stress-reduction interventions targeting individual health care workers.

Based on 117 studies (11,119 participants), the researchers found that interventions that focus on the experience of stress may reduce stress symptoms in the short and medium term, with low-certainty evidence. Similarly, interventions that focus away from the experience of stress may cut stress symptoms in the short and medium term, with low-certainty evidence. There was very low-certainty evidence on the effectiveness of interventions focused on altering work-related factors over any length of time. Over the short and medium terms, a combination of individual-level interventions also had low-certainty evidence.

“We found that health care workers might be able to reduce their stress by means of individual-level interventions such as cognitive behavior training, exercising, or listening to music,” Tamminga said in a statement. “This may be beneficial for the health care workers themselves and it may spill over to the patients they care for, and the organizations they work for. The effect may last for up to a year and a combination of interventions may be beneficial as well, at least in the short term.”

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