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The Scale of Perceived Occupational Stress

Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID: 2000. The Scale of Perceived Occupational Stress. Occupational Medicine 50 (5) , pp. 294-298. 10.1093/occmed/50.5.294

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This article reviews previous research on the scale of occupational stress and describes in detail the Bristol Stress and Health at Work study. This study had three main aims: firstly, to determine the scale and severity of occupational stress in a random population sample; secondly, to distinguish the effects of stress at work from those of stress in general life; and finally, to determine whether objective indicators of health status and performance efficiency were related to perceived occupational stress. These aims were investigated by conducting an epidemiological survey of 17,000 randomly selected people from the Bristol electoral register, a follow-up survey 12 months later, and detailed investigation of a cohort from the original sample. The results revealed that approximately 20% of the sample reported that they had very high or extremely high levels of stress at work. This effect was reliable over time, related to potentially stressful working conditions and associated with impaired physical and mental health. The effects of occupational stress could not be attributed to life stress or negative affectivity. The cohort study also suggested that high levels of occupational stress may influence physiology and mental performance. The prevalence rate obtained in this study suggests that 5 million workers in the UK have very high levels of occupational stress.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Uncontrolled Keywords: Occupational stress; stress and health
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISSN: 0962-7480
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 08:47

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