Learning how to recover from stress-related disorders via internet-based interventions

Sammanfattning: Stress has become one of the major challenges of modern society, especially within the working population, causing significant costs and personal problems. However, the range of prevention and treatment is not at all proportionate to the needs of the public. Internet provides new options for broad dissemination and a growing body of evidence suggest that internet-based interventions for stress could be effective. However, few studies have examined the efficacy in clinical samples or how participants experience these new treatment delivery formats. Further, only a limited number of studies have evaluated the efficacy of work-focused stress interventions on work-related outcomes (e.g., absenteeism), and if recovery has the potential in stress-prevention.In the present thesis, internet-based cognitive behavioural stress interventions (iCBT), designed to reduce symptoms of stress and increase recovery and workparticipation among 117 managers and 260 employees, were evaluated in three randomized controlled trials (Study I, III and IV) and a qualitative study (Study II). Results of Study I and III indicate that the iCBT for managers and employees with stress-related disorders was effective in reducing symptoms of chronic stress. In Study III effects on work-related outcomes, e.g., work ability and absenteeism, were only seen in the work-focused iCBT. In Study II, participants found the work-focused iCBT to be accessible and feasible and reported positive experiences on stress and well-being in both life and at work. Finally, preliminary results in Study IV suggest that recovery experiences, an important protective factor against chronic stress, could be improved by a brief internet-based recovery intervention.In conclusion, if implemented, these relatively brief and accessible interventions could be a feasible way to increase access to treatment and learning distressed employees and others how to prevent and recover from stress-related disorders. 

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