Outline and Evaluate Research into Stress in the Work Place

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Outline and Evaluate research into stress in the work place

There has been much research to show that stress in the work place that is suspected to be caused by several different factors, can have a negative effect of people’s health.

Marmot et al in 1997 carried out a follow up study to the earlier Whitehall I study carried out by Marmot and Theorell in 1988. In this longitudinal study with an average follow up of 5.3 years, all female and male civil servants between the ages of 35 and 55 were sent an introductory letter and screening questionnaire. In addition an offer of a screening examination for cardiovascular disease was extended to participants. There was a response rate of 73% to the introductory letter which resulted in over 10,000 participants examined of which over 3000 were women and around 7000 were men. Participants were sent a postal questionnaire during 1989-1990 and then once again in 1991-1993 yet this time they were also screened once more. The participant rates for these two phases rose from phase one’s 73% to 79% in phase two and 83% in phase three with 72% (making up over 7000 people) participating in each three phases.

The Employment grades of participants were summarised in three groups: administrators, clerical support staff and executive officers. The amount of job control participants had was assessed through the questionnaires distributed in phase one in which participants were asked how much control they had over their work and the variety of work and opportunity they had for use of skills; combined, this made up an index of decision latitude.
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Findings showed that women/men in the lowest employment grade were almost three times/three times more likely to develop coronary heart disease (CHD) than those in the highest grades. For both genders low control in the workplace was the most significant factor in the development of CHD and was more important than other risk factors that had been well established such as cigarette smoking.

Marmot’s study has beneficial practical applications. For instance, with the knowledge that stress in the work place can increase the risk of diseases and illness, steps can be taken to attempt to reduce this ...

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