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Process Evaluation of an Operational-Level Job Stress Intervention Aimed at Decreasing Sickness Absence among Public Sector Employees in Sweden
Open AccessArticle

Can Working Conditions and Employees’ Mental Health Be Improved via Job Stress Interventions Designed and Implemented by Line Managers and Human Resources on an Operational Level?

1
Region Västra Götaland, The Institute of Stress Medicine, 413 19 Gothenburg, Sweden
2
Occupational Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
3
Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
4
Social Medicine, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Institute of Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Inge Houkes and Angelique de Rijk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1916; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041916
Received: 16 December 2020 / Revised: 8 February 2021 / Accepted: 12 February 2021 / Published: 16 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout & Job Stress Interventions)
Organisational-level interventions are recommended for decreasing sickness absence, but knowledge of the optimal design and implementation of such interventions is scarce. We collected data on working conditions, motivation, health, employee turnover, and sickness absence among participants in a large-scale organisational-level intervention comprising measures designed and implemented by line managers and their human resources partners (i.e., operational-level). Information regarding the process, including the implementation of measures, was retrieved from a separate process evaluation, and the intervention effects were investigated using mixed-effects models. Data from reference groups were used to separate the intervention effect from the effects of other concurrent changes at the workplace. Overall, working conditions and motivation improved during the study for both the intervention and reference groups, but an intervention effect was only seen for two of 13 evaluated survey items: clearness of objectives (p = 0.02) and motivation (p = 0.06). No changes were seen in employees’ perceived health, and there were no overall intervention effects on employee turnover or sickness absence. When using operational-level workplace interventions to improve working conditions and employees’ health, efforts must be made to achieve a high measure-to-challenge correspondence; that is, the implemented measures must be a good match to the problems that they are intended to address. View Full-Text
Keywords: sickness absence; workplace intervention; organisation; work environment; public sector; operational level; manager sickness absence; workplace intervention; organisation; work environment; public sector; operational level; manager
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MDPI and ACS Style

Akerstrom, M.; Corin, L.; Severin, J.; Jonsdottir, I.H.; Björk, L. Can Working Conditions and Employees’ Mental Health Be Improved via Job Stress Interventions Designed and Implemented by Line Managers and Human Resources on an Operational Level? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 1916. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041916

AMA Style

Akerstrom M, Corin L, Severin J, Jonsdottir IH, Björk L. Can Working Conditions and Employees’ Mental Health Be Improved via Job Stress Interventions Designed and Implemented by Line Managers and Human Resources on an Operational Level? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(4):1916. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041916

Chicago/Turabian Style

Akerstrom, Magnus; Corin, Linda; Severin, Jonathan; Jonsdottir, Ingibjörg H.; Björk, Lisa. 2021. "Can Working Conditions and Employees’ Mental Health Be Improved via Job Stress Interventions Designed and Implemented by Line Managers and Human Resources on an Operational Level?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 18, no. 4: 1916. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041916

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