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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017, Article ID 3919080, 12 pages
Research Article

Interventions: Employees’ Perceptions of What Reduces Stress

1Asia Pacific Centre for Work, Health and Safety, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
2School of Engineering, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia
3School of Psychology, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia
4School of Management, University of South Australia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to Silvia Pignata; ua.ude.asinu@atangip.aivlis

Received 23 May 2017; Accepted 5 November 2017; Published 29 November 2017

Academic Editor: Hui X. Wang

Copyright © 2017 Silvia Pignata et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To build upon research evaluating stress interventions, this qualitative study tests the framework of the extended Job Demands-Resources model to investigate employees’ perceptions of the stress-reduction measures implemented at 13 Australian universities. Methods. In a cross-sectional survey design, tenured and contract staff indicated whether their overall level of stress had changed during the previous three-four years, and, if so, they described the major causes. A total of 462 staff reported that their level of stress had decreased; the study examines commentary from 115 academic and 304 nonacademic staff who provided details of what they perceived to be effective in reducing stress. Results. Thematic analyses show that the key perceived causes were changes in job or work role, new heads of departments or supervisors, and the use of organizational strategies to reduce or manage stress. A higher percentage of academic staff reported reduced stress due to using protective coping strategies or their increased recognition and/or success, whereas a higher percentage of nonacademic staff reported reduced stress due to increases in staffing resources and/or systems. Conclusion. These results identify the importance of implementing multilevel strategies to enhance employees’ well-being. Nonacademic staff, in particular, specified a variety of organizational stress-reduction interventions.