In addition to defining a number of relevant terms (e.g., the notion of stress management and those of intervention-typicality, -goals and -effectiveness), Part 1 of this essay sets the ground for a discussion of the relative usefulness of typical interventions amidst the plethora of methodological and, perhaps more seriously, theoretical problems that seem to characterize so much of stress research and stress intervention practice. This is followed in Part 2 by a more systematic review of evidence relevant to evaluating the effectiveness of a number of ‘typical' interventions, including stress management training, employee assistance programmes and workplace counseling. Such interventions are compared with so-called primary interventions in order to gain a more complete view of their relative effectiveness. Part 3 addresses a number of more general theoretical issues as they relate to problems relevant to the derivation, implementation and evaluation of stress management interventions including those of direct interest to the present study. The essay concludes with a brief discussion of possible socio-political influences on stress phenomena and their study and explores briefly some of the implications of such more expansive approaches for intervention practice and research.
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[...] With substantial reviews failing to support many of the earlier claims about the possible links between stress and health (e.g., Rick, Thomson, Briner, O'Regan and Daniels 2002), routinely assumed links between employee psychological well-being and performance being shown to have been grossly simplistic if not entirely mistaken (Briner, 1997b; Reynolds, 2000), and research, of the type reviewed here, indicating that typically used SMI's are mostly ineffective, one wonders whether more radical moves may be required than has been the case in recent decades. [...]
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