Journal article

Behavioral stress recovery management intervention for people with high levels of perceived stress : A randomized controlled trial


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Publication Details


Publication year: 2020

Start page: 183

End page: 194

Number of pages: 12

ISSN: 1072-5245


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Continuous and prolonged exposure to stressors or unsuccessfully dealing with such exposure has been suggested as precursors for burnout. Current research indicates that such stress problems could be conceptualized as deficiencies in recovery between periods of stress. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a behaviorally oriented stress recovery management intervention for people experiencing high levels of stress. A total of 73 individuals with experiences of stress symptoms and high levels of perceived stress (= 25 on the Perceived Stress Scale) were randomly allocated to either a 10-week intervention group or a waiting-list control group. Participants were assessed at preintervention, postintervention, and 3-month follow-up. The Perceived Stress Scale, questions about tension, and the Shirom–Melamed Burnout Questionnaire were used as primary outcome measures, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale was used as a secondary outcome measure. Data were analyzed following the intention-to-treat principle. The analysis demonstrated statistically significant improvements for all measures at posttreatment and at follow-up. The between-groups effect sizes were high at posttreatment and moderate–to-high at follow-up. Intervention focused on stress recovery behavior seems to be an effective way of reducing perceived stress, tension, burnout symptoms, anxiety, and depression in people with stress symptoms and high levels of perceived stress in everyday life. The tested intervention warrants further research. Other stress recovery behavior interventions need to be tested to draw conclusions on the efficacy of stress recovery behavior interventions in general regarding stress and burnout.


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