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Strategies for preventing occupational stress in healthcare workers: past evidence, current problems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 April 2021

Riccardo De Giorgi*
Affiliation:
Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, and an Honorary Clinical Fellow with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, UK. He works on experimental medicine trials in mood disorders. He is interested in the evidence-based treatment of mental illness and the neuroscientific underpinnings of psychopharmacology.
Bianca M. Dinkelaar
Affiliation:
holds an MPhil from the Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford, UK, and works on psychological and sociological approaches to ancient philosophy and religion. Her research interests and publication topics include medical ethics and mental health.
*
Correspondence Riccardo De Giorgi. Email: riccardo.degiorgi@psych.ox.ac.uk

Summary

The problem of occupational stress in healthcare workers is hardly new, but effective interventions in this area are lacking despite being sorely needed – especially in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The results of a Cochrane review suggest that cognitive–behavioural therapy and mental and physical relaxation reduce stress more than no intervention but not more than alternative interventions, and that changing work schedules may lead to a reduction of stress. Other organisational interventions showed no effect on stress levels. However, the evidence is of low quality owing to risk of bias and lack of precision. This commentary critically appraises the review and attempts to put its findings into the current real-world context.

Type
Round the corner
Copyright
Copyright © The Authors 2021

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Footnotes

Commentary on… Preventing occupational stress in healthcare workers (Cochrane Corner). See this issue.

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