Table 4

Summary of studies of interventions

StudyParticipantsDesignResponse rateInterventionOutcomesResults
Gronningsaeter et al, 19924976 physically inactive Norwegian insurance workersStratified RCT72%6 sessions aerobic exercise per week for 10 weeks or 3 sessions stress management training per week for 10 weeksAnxiety (STAI) and health complaintsNo association of either intervention with anxiety. Aerobic exercise associated with reduced health complaints (F=3.4, p=0.07 compared to controls, and F=4.8, p<0.05 compared to stress management intervention)
Heaney et al, 1995501375 US residential care workersCluster RCT62%6 × 4 hour sessions over 9 weeks to teach skills to enhance social support and problem solvingDepression (SCL-90R)For those most at risk of leaving their jobs, R2=0.41, p<0.01
Kagan et al, 199551373 US fire department workersRandomised, uncontrolledNot reported42 weeks of 7 psycho-educational programmes, 6 weeks eachAnxiety, depression, psychological strain, emotional burnoutCompared to baseline, F=52.3, 42.2, 29.1, 10.6 respectively; p<0.001 for all. At 9–16 month follow up, F=4.8 (p<0.05), 8.7 (p<0.01), 21.4 (p<0.001), 45.2 (p<0.001) respectively
Lokk and Arnetz, 19975226 Swedish hospital ward workersRCT93%20 weekly 1 hour stress management sessionsStress hormone (prolactin) levelChange scores: Intervention group −0.58 Control group +1.85 F=7.3, p<0.01
Malcolm et al, 199353604 UK long term sick local government workersObservational100%Early referral to Occupational HealthDuration of sickness absence (weeks)25 weeks in intervention period compared to 40 in control period
Smoot and Gonzales, 19955465 US hospital workersMatched controlled90%4 weekly 8 hour sessions of communication trainingSick leave (hours) in 6 months after compared to 6 months before% change: −28.2 in experimental group, −6.4 in control group