Article Text

Download PDFPDF

130 Evaluation 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 Researchers have underlined the need to address risk factors for workplace bullying by conducting intervention studies. Given the important role of coping strategies, we developed an online intervention tool to teach employees using efficient coping strategies. In this study, we investigated the impact of this online intervention. We hypothesised that the intervention:

  1. decreased emotion-focused coping strategies,

  2. stimulated self-efficacy, and

  3. reduced exposure to bullying.

Methods Longitudinal data were collected in a cross-over study in which participants were assigned to two experimental groups (group 1 and 2) or a control group (group 3). The participants were contacted three times over a period of eight months (time lag of four months between subsequent measurement points) to complete either an online questionnaire or the online intervention. In group 1, participants participated in the intervention during the first four months, including a pre-measurement questionnaire and post-measurements after four and eight months. The second group participated in the intervention after four months, including pre-measurements and post-measurements after eight months. The third group did not receive the intervention and only completed the online questionnaire.

Result MANCOVA analyses and non-parametric tests were performed. Results showed that the mean level of exposure to bullying after completing the intervention was lower in both experimental groups compared to the control group. This may indicate that the intervention had an impact on exposure to bullying. However, within-group analysis revealed no significant decrease in workplace bullying over time within group 2. Further, the means of emotion-focused coping strategies (i.e., mental and behavioural disengagement) were lower in group 2 in comparison with the control group. This may indicate that the intervention discouraged using emotion-focused coping strategies. No significant differences were found for self-efficacy.

Discussion Future research needs to define contextual factors that are necessary to successfully implement this online intervention.

  • Mobbing
  • intervention
  • Coping Strategies

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.