Identifying the Needs for - Work related stress management among young health professionals: The boostress study
Lavranos, Giagkos M.
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Introduction: Work-related stress has been identified at international, european and national level as a concern for both employers and workers. Stress can potentially affect any workplace and any worker, irrespective of the size of the company, field of activity, or form of employment contract or relationship. Having identified the need for specific joint action on this issue and anticipating a Commission consultation on stress, the European social partners included this issue in the work programme of the social dialogue 2003–2005. Aim: The aim of the Boostress project was to identify the needs of young professionals and relevant stakeholders regarding work related stress management. Furthermore, the aim was to develop a suite of training materials to support young Europeans to develop their skills and competencies to able them to manage stress in the workplace more effectively. Material and Method: A focus group approach was implemented using a convenience sample of young professionals(15 participants) and stakeholders (15 participants) all professionally active within the healthcare sector. The Focus Group sessions lasted 2,5 hours each using a semi structured discussion were led by a facilitator. The process was recorded using voice recorder. Bioethic Committee approval and participants’ consent were obtained prior to study implementation. Results: A lot of health professionals are systematically and increasingly reporting physical symptoms that may be associated to overstress, such as musculoskeletal problems, headaches, back pain, migraine, insomnia, hypersomnia and gastro internal problems. Increased physical and mental demand at work, poor work conditions, low salaries, increased working hours, unrealistic deadlines, lack of support, psychological pressure and time limitation were reported during the focus group as common factors contributing to the onset of the aforementioned conditions. Conclusion: In order to support the new employees to cope with the very demanding work conditions in the healthcare sector there is a necessity to create an effective stress management program. A program that will give them the opportunity to have access to guidelines and stress management tips and tools, including psychological support, therapeutic techniques, breathing techniques, scenarios, case studies and videos could be beneficial to prevent burnout for both stakeholders and young health professionals in their everyday life.