Stress management interventions: Improving subjective psychological well-being in the workplace

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In this chapter we provide an overview of stress management interventions (SMI) and review the evidence for their effects on employee stress and well-being. We start by setting out a typology of SMI that classes SMI according to level (i.e., the individual-level or organisation-level) and focus (i.e., a ‘primary’ focus on altering the causes of stress or a ‘secondary’ or ‘tertiary’ focus on reducing stress itself). We then use this typology to describe key types of SMI, after which we review the evidence for those SMI with the most extensive evidence bases, namely secondary individual-level SMI that seek to reduce stress in employees (e.g., relaxation techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness training) and primary organisational-level SMI that seek to remove the causes of stress by changing organisational practices (e.g., job redesign, changes to working time schedules). We conclude by suggesting that there is convincing evidence for both of these SMI approaches. However, the evidence base needs strengthening through more robust methodological designs (e.g., randomised control trials, broad based evaluations of intervention processes) and a better understanding of the contexts and individuals in which SMIs are most effective, how the implementation of SMIs affects outcomes, and the long-term impacts of SMIs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of well-being
EditorsE Diener, S Oishi, L Tay
Place of PublicationSalt Lake City, UT
PublisherDEF Publishers
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • stress management interventions, evaluation, review, cognitive-behavioral therapy, mindfulness training, job redesign

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Work and Equalities Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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