Social & Economic Factors Education Employment Income Family & Social Support Community Safety Search Policies & Programs

Display All Policies & Programs

Interventions for occupational stress

Health Factors: Employment
Decision Makers: Employers & Businesses
Evidence Rating: Some Evidence
Population Reach: 50-99% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: No impact on disparities likely

Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.


Stress management techniques are designed to help employees modify their appraisal of stressful situations or deal more effectively with the symptoms of stress. Examples of these techniques include: muscle relaxation, meditation, biofeedback, and cognitive-behavioral skills.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Improved employee retention
Reduced stress

Evidence of Effectiveness

Interventions for work-related stress appear to have some positive impact, although extent is highly variable depending on specifics of program design and administration. van der Klink 2001 meta-analysis finds that stress management interventions are effective, and cognitive–behavioral interventions are more effective than the other types of interventions. Effects were most pronounced on: complaints, psychologic resources and responses, and perceived quality of work life. Murphy 1996 review finds that stress management in work settings can enhance worker physical and psychologic health, and stress-management techniques should be selected based on the specific health outcomes targeted for change. Combining two or more stress management techniques produced the most positive results across health outcomes. van der Hek 1997 review finds some evidence that organization-wide approaches show the best results on individual, individual-organizational interface, and organizational parameters.

Citations - Evidence

Murphy 1996* - Murphy LR. Stress management in work settings: A critical review of the health effects. American Journal of Health Promotion. 1996;11(2):112-35. Accessed on March 3, 2016
van der Hek 1997 - van der Hek H, Plomp HN. Occupational stress management programmes: A practical overview of published effect studies. Occupational Medicine. 1997;47(3):133-41. Accessed on November 20, 2015
van der Klink 2001 - van der Klink JJ, Blonk RW, Schene AH, van Dijk FJ. The benefits of interventions for work-related stress. American Journal of Public Health. 2001;91(2):270-6. Accessed on November 10, 2015

Page Last Updated

January 1, 2011

* Journal subscription may be required for access.