The benefits of interventions for work-related stress

Am J Public Health. 2001 Feb;91(2):270-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.91.2.270.


Objectives: This quantitative meta-analysis sought to determine the effectiveness of occupational stress-reducing interventions and the populations for which such interventions are most beneficial.

Methods: Forty-eight experimental studies (n = 3736) were included in the analysis. Four intervention types were distinguished: cognitive-behavioral interventions, relaxation techniques, multimodal programs, and organization-focused interventions.

Results: A small but significant overall effect was found. A moderate effect was found for cognitive-behavioral interventions and multimodal interventions, and a small effect was found for relaxation techniques. The effect size for organization-focused interventions was nonsignificant. Effects were most pronounced on the following outcome categories: complaints, psychologic resources and responses, and perceived quality of work life.

Conclusions: Stress management interventions are effective. Cognitive-behavioral interventions are more effective than the other intervention types.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Burnout, Professional / etiology
  • Burnout, Professional / prevention & control*
  • Burnout, Professional / psychology
  • Effect Modifier, Epidemiologic
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health Services / methods*
  • Occupational Health Services / standards*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Relaxation Therapy
  • Research Design
  • Risk Factors