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128 Development of an online intervention tool to prevent exposure to workplace bullying
  1. Whitney Van den Brande1,2,3,
  2. Elfi Baillien2,4,
  3. Tinne Vander Elst1,3,
  4. Hans De Witte3,5,
  5. Lode Godderis1,6
  1. 1Knowledge, Information and Research Centre (KIR, IDEWE Group), Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2Research Department Work and Organisation Studies (KU Leuven), Brussels, Belgium
  3. 3Research Group Work, Organisational and Personnel Psychology (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium
  4. 4Department of Pyschosocial Sience, University of Bergen, Norway
  5. 5Optentia Research Focus Area (North-West University), Vanderbijlpark Campus, South Africa
  6. 6Centre for Environment and Health (KU Leuven), Leuven, Belgium


Introduction Although the negative impact of workplace bullying has been empirically demonstrated, there is little research on preventive interventions regarding workplace bullying. In reply, the aim of this study is to develop an evidence-based online intervention tool to prevent employees from being exposed to workplace bullying. Given the significant role of coping strategies and self-efficacy in becoming a target of bullying, we aim to develop an online intervention that (1) discourages emotion-focused coping strategies, (2) stimulates self-efficacy, and (3) reduces exposure to workplace bullying.

Methods The online intervention was developed in three steps. First, we developed a short questionnaire by means of Confirmatory Factor Analysis based on a respresentative sample of the Belgian working population (n=1.068). Second, we developed a personal stress profile module by means of Relative Operating Characteristic Analysis. Third, we developed exercises inspired by the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Result The tool developed (=StressBalancer) contains three steps:

  • StressBarometer is a questionnaire that measures the most relevant work–related stressors (i.e., workload, job insecurity, role conflict and role ambiguity), emotion–focused coping strategies and self–efficacy.

  • My Stress Profile (= Feedback) provides feedback on the employees’ use of emotion–focused coping strategies, their level of self–efficacy and their level of stressors. The profile reports whether employees score safe (= green zone), problematic (= orange zone) or very problematic (= red zone) on these variables.

  • Training contains exercises that aim to discourage emotion–focused coping strategies and aim to stimulate self–efficacy.

Discussion Studies have been set up to evaluate the online intervention tool by means of an experimental cross-over design.

  • Mobbing
  • e-Tool
  • Coping Strategies

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