The Effect of Progressive Muscle Relaxation on Emotional Competence: Depression-Anxiety-Stress, Sense of Coherence, Health-Related Quality of Life, and Well-Being of Unemployed People in Greece: An Intervention Study

Explore (NY). Jan-Feb 2019;15(1):38-46. doi: 10.1016/j.explore.2018.08.001. Epub 2018 Aug 20.


Objectives: Assessment of the impact of Jacobson Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) on depression-anxiety-stress symptoms, sense of coherence, health-related quality of life and well-being in long-term unemployed people with anxiety disorders.

Design and setting: An intervention study was conducted at a relevant Organization, in Athens, Greece.

Intervention: 50 long-term unemployed individuals suffering from anxiety disorders participated in the study. Participants were separated into two groups: (a) the intervention group (30 individuals) that was trained on an 8-week on Progressive Muscle Relaxation program and also received counseling services and (b) the control group (20 individuals) that received only counseling services.

Main outcome measures: Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale, Sense of Coherence, Health-Related Quality of Life and Well-being were evaluated at baseline and after the intervention.

Results: Significant changes were noted in the studied variables between the two groups, with improved outcomes in the intervention group. The intervention group showed a decrease in the symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress (p < 0.001) [depression (p < 0.001), anxiety (p < 0.001), stress (p < 0.001)], a higher score of sense of coherence (p < 0.001), improved health-related quality of life regarding the mental health domain (p < 0.001), and improvement in well-being (p < 0.001). No significant change was observed in the control group during the follow-up period.

Keywords: HRQOL; Mental health; PMR; Well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / therapy*
  • Autogenic Training / methods*
  • Counseling
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Greece
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Sense of Coherence
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Unemployment / psychology*