Questions about the causes or sources of work stress have been the subject of considerable research, as well as public fascination, for several decades. Earlier interest in this issue focused on the question of whether some jobs are simply more inherently stressful than others. Other questions that soon emerged asked whether some individuals were more prone to stress than others. The Handbook of Work Stress focuses primarily on identifying the different sources of work stress across different contexts and individuals.
Chapter 26: Individually Targeted Interventions
Aconsistent and continuing body of research evidence has identified stress as a major factor contributing to ill health, particularly psychological health (Cooper, Dewe, & O'Driscoll, 2001). Many workplace surveys (Cartwright & Cooper, 1997; Worrall & Cooper, 2001) have reported that stress at work significantly affects employee health and well-being and has an adverse impact on organizational productivity. In a study of changes in self-rated health among over 5,000 Danish workers over the period 1990 to 1995, Borg, Kristensen, and Burr (2000) found that health levels had deteriorated over the 5 years. A number of work-related factors, including repetitive work, high psychological job demands, and increased job insecurity, were found to be predictive of worsening health. As a consequence, many organizations ...