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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A CBT-Based Stress Management Intervention for Work-Related Stress
by Feldman, Michelle, Psy.D., Palo Alto University, 2019, 89; 10973417
Abstract (Summary)

Stress is an inevitable factor in the modern workforce, yet chronic stress can lead to burnout and plays a significant role in employee wellbeing and productivity. Organizations have implemented a variety of different stress-management interventions (SMIs) to help their employees cope more effectively with stress. Previous literature on SMIs suggests that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) based interventions were most effective in improving employee quality of life, decreasing perceived stress, and decreasing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and burnout. Additionally, this literature found that shorter treatment interventions were associated with larger effect sizes. While there is widespread support for the use of CBT-based SMIs in the workplace, there is limited research assessing time-limited interventions. The present study examines the utility and feasibility of a brief, two-hour CBT-based SMI implemented at a medium-sized company based in New York, NY. Thirty-five employees participated in the intervention, of which 69% identified as female, 31% as male, 83% identified as White, 14% as Other, and 3% as Asian, and the mean age was 28.7. Of these thirty-five employees, eighteen (51%) completed the follow-up assessments. A focus group was conducted prior to the intervention to develop context-specific material. The intervention focused on social norming, cognitive reframing, and stress reduction skills. Participants completed two online assessments: one at pre-intervention and one at the 8-week follow-up. Outcome measures included quantitative assessments for perceived stress, anxiety, burnout, and cognitive reframing, and qualitative measures on participant experience during the intervention. Results from the quantitative data show that this intervention had no significant impact on psychological symptom reduction and did not increase the use of cognitive reframing at follow-up. However, qualitative analyses show that employees found the intervention useful, with 69% of participants reporting that they will try Cognitive Reframing to help them manage their stress and 54% reporting that they will try Mini Habits, a stress reduction skill. Additionally, 66% reported that they most enjoyed the social norming exercise and that it made them feel less isolated with their stress. The results of this study suggest that two-hours may not be enough time to significantly increase employee wellbeing but may be enough to teach employees new skills and normalize their stress.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Taylor, C. Barr
Commitee: Luce, Kristine, Bankman, Joseph
School: Palo Alto University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clinical psychology, Organizational behavior, Psychology
Keywords: Employee health, Organizational psychology, Psychology, Stress, Stress management, Work-related stress
Publication Number: 10973417
ISBN: 9781392448304
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