Developing Stress Management Programs in a Public Primary Healthcare Institution: Should We Consider Health Workers' Sociodemographic Groups?

Medicina (Kaunas). 2020 Apr 3;56(4):162. doi: 10.3390/medicina56040162.


Background and Objectives: An essential part of occupational stress management is identifying target groups and developing a wellbeing program that tailors interventions to the specific needs of the target groups. This study aims to explore whether psychosocial risk determinants and organizational intervention objects differ across employees' groups based on sociodemographic factors in a Lithuanian public primary healthcare institution. Methods: All 690 health workers of the institution were invited to participate (response rate 68 %) in a cross-sectional survey between February and March 2017. The questionnaire contained items related to sociodemographic factors (gender, age, job seniority, education, and occupation), 14 psychosocial risk determinants, and 10 organisational intervention objects. Results: The results of the study showed that differences by gender were not statistically significant except for one organisational intervention object (work-life balance). Only a few organisational intervention objects (justice of reward, matching to the job demand, and variety of tasks) had mean rank scores differing statistically across age and job seniority groups. Five organisational intervention objects (work-life balance, variety of tasks, communication, manager feedback, and stress management training) had mean rank scores differing statistically across education groups, and all organisational intervention objects (except stress management training) had mean rank scores differing statistically across occupational groups. Regarding psychosocial risk determinants, excessive work pace had mean rank scores differing statistically across age and job seniority groups. Four (overtime, unclear role, conflicting roles, and being under-skilled) and six psychosocial risk determinants (work overload, overtime, tight deadlines, unclear role, being under-skilled, and responsibility) had mean scores differing statistically across education and occupational groups, respectively. Statistical significance was considered with p-value < 0.05 and 95 % confidence interval. Conclusions: The findings showed that different psychosocial risk determinants and organizational interventional objects were emphasized by different sociodemographic groups in the institution, but they did not impact groups in the same measure. Therefore, it is crucial to start by determining the risk group's specific needs before developing and implementing stress management programs.

Keywords: health professionals or health workers; job stress; occupational safety and health; organisational interventions; psychosocial risks; wellbeing at work.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Stress / psychology
  • Occupational Stress / therapy*
  • Primary Health Care / methods
  • Primary Health Care / trends
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work-Life Balance / standards
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / standards