Scand J Work Environ Health 2006;32(6):515-527    pdf | Issue date: 31 Dec 2006

Job stress interventions and the organization of work

by Semmer NK

Interventions that aim at improving health by changing the organization of work—in terms of task characteristics, work conditions, and social aspects—have shown their potential, but results are mixed, and many studies do not use their methodological potential. It is proposed that interventions at the organizational level are likely to have a more diverse effect than at the individual level, as the number of subsystems, with potentially diverging interests, is larger. Even well-implemented interventions are not likely to lead to improvements in all parameters for all participants, and trade-offs have to be considered. Methodological improvement is necessary but should not only focus on design issues, but also on careful documentation and subgroup analyses. A combination of person-focused and organization-focused approaches is the most promising. Finally, evidence points to the limited utility of economic arguments for the acceptance of health promotion projects; the necessity of professional trust is therefore emphasized.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2004;30(2):85-128