Barriers to Workplace Stress Interventions in Employee Assistance Practice: EAP Perspectives

J Workplace Behav Health. 2010;25(4):282-295. doi: 10.1080/15555240.2010.518491.


Occupational health literature links stressful working conditions with cardiovascular and other chronic diseases, injuries, and psychological distress. We conducted individual interviews with employee assistance professionals (EAPs) to understand opportunities and barriers for EAPs to address job stress through organization level interventions. EAPs described their primary role as assisting individual employees versus designing company wide interventions. The most salient barriers to organization level interventions cited were lack of access to company management and (for contracted EAPs) perceptions of contract vulnerability. Education about workplace stress interventions may be most effectively directed at EAPs who are already integrated with company level work groups.

Keywords: employee assistance practice; job stress; stress interventions; stress reduction; work organization; workplace interventions; workplace stress.