Research

Wellness Central Valley, our wellness program, offers only evidence- and research-based services. The serious psychological and physical strain on professionals is our focus. We want to support you in advancing your transformative powers.

For more information than you could possibly want about psychological and physical strain from your work life, continue below!

PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH OF PROFESSIONALS SERVING POPULATIONS IN NEED

  • Professionals face varied psychological stressors
  • Professionals are most often left to figure-out wellness solutions on their own
  • Many job roles are assumed to be inevitably painful

Check-out the research below on what we know about professionals who are working in challenging contexts. 

Vicarious trauma can negatively impact staff members’ long-term mental health, relationships, and worldview.

Aparicio, E., Michalopoulos, L., & Unick, G. (2013). An Examination of the Psychometric Properties of the Vicarious Trauma Scale in a Sample of Licensed Social Workers. Health & Social Work, 38(4), 199-206. Arnold, D.,

Calhoun, L. G., Tedeschi, R., & Cann, A. (2005). Vicarious posttraumatic growth in psychotherapy. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 45, 239-263. Regehr, C.,

Hemsworth, D., Leslie, B., Howe, P., & Chau, S. (2004). Predictors of post-traumatic distress in child welfare workers: A linear structural equation model. Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 331-346.

Staff who experience lack of organizational fairness have increased risk of heart disease and mental illness.

Kivimaki, M., Ferrie, JE., Head, J., Shipley, M., Vahtera, J., et al. 2004. Organizational justice and change in justice as predictors of employee health: The Whitehall study. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 58(11): 931-7.

High workloads and unaccounted hours spent on reporting responsibilities increases stress.

Baines D, Hadley K, Slade B, et al. (2002). Improving Work Organization to Reduce Injury and Illness: Social Services, Stress, Violence and Workload. Hamilton, Ontario, Canada: Institute for Work in a Global Society.

Holness, D., Somerville, S., Kosny, A., Gadeski, J., Mastandrea, J., & Sinclair, G. (2004). Workplace health and safety concerns in service organizations in the inner city. Journal of Urban Health, 81(3), 489-97.

Chronic and cumulative contact with vicarious trauma is linked to depression.

Regehr, C., Hemsworth, D., Leslie, B., Howe, P., & Chau, S. (2004). Predictors of post-traumatic distress in child welfare workers: A linear structural equation model. Children and Youth Services Review, 26, 331-346.

Secondary, or Vicarious, Trauma, negatively impacts individuals and organizational effectiveness.

Graham, J. (2012). Cognitive behavioural therapy for occupational trauma: A systematic literature review exploring the effects of occupational trauma and the existing CBT support pathways and interventions for staff working within mental healthcare including allied professions. The Cognitive Behaviour Therapist, 5(1), 24-45.

As much as 41% of staff who serve stigmatized groups are known to take a leave of absence for health reasons.

Phillips, R., Benoit, C., Hallgrimsdottir, H., & Vallance, K. (2012). Courtesy stigma: A hidden health concern among front-line service providers to sex workers. Sociology of Health & Illness, 34(5), 681-696.

Staff who work 70-hrs/week for years have weak connections in their prefrontal cortex fail to down regulate from laboratory induced stressors.

Golkar, A., et al. (2014). The influence of work-related chronic stress on the regulation of emotion and on functional connectivity in the brain. PLoS One, 9(9).

Staff exposed to clients’ trauma can prevent staff from down-regulating from stressful experiences, lose sleep, and become unable to listen to clients.

Bride, B.E., Hatcher, S.S., & Humble, M.N. (2009). Trauma training, trauma practices, and secondary traumatic stress among substance abuse counselors. Traumatology, 15: 96-105.

Staff who serve stigmatized groups can face high rates of stress and fatigue.

Phillips, R., Benoit, C., Hallgrimsdottir, H., & Vallance, K. (2012). Courtesy stigma: A hidden health concern among front-line service providers to sex workers. Sociology of Health & Illness, 34(5), 681-696.

Anger, cynicism, and chronic exhaustion are common among staff experiencing secondary trauma.

Mathieu, Francoise. (2012). The compassion fatigue workbook: creative tools for transforming compassion fatigue and vicarious traumatization.New York: Routledge-Taylor & Francis Group.

Staff who experience the combination of high demands, low discretionary power, and an imbalance between efforts and rewards have increased risk of heart disease and mental illness.

Head J., Ferrie, JE., Brunner, E., Marmont, M., Rydstedt, L., Stansfeld S. et al. (2007). The potential impact on health and sickness absence of management standards for work-related stress. Research report to Health and Safety Executive.

PHYSICAL HEALTH IS STRAINED

  • Many professionals face physical injury 
  • Inside the offices, the potential injuries often stem from computer-based work (e.g. think: data entry!)
  • Outside of the offices, potential injuries can include harrassement and assault

Check-out the research below on what we know about professionals who are working in challenging contexts. 

Staff working in smaller organizations face more injury and illness in relation to limited managerial support and financial strain.

Mayhew C, Quinlan M. (1997). Outsourcing and Occupational Health and Safety: a Comparative Study of Factory-Based and Outworkers in the Australian TCF Industry. Sydney, Australia: Industrial Relations Research Centre. University of New South Wales Studies in Australian Industrial Relations 40.

Walters D. (1998). Employee representation on health and safety: a strategy for improving health and safety performance in small enterprises. Employee Relations, 20: 180–195.

Oleinick A, Gluck J, Guire K. (1995). Establishment size and risk of occupational injury. American Journal Industrial Medicine, 28:1-21.

17% of staff are exposed to toxic substances (e.g. cleaning products, old lead paint, etc.)

Eurofound. (2012). Fifth European working conditions survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Nearly half of staff are confined to repetitive, lengthy neck, hand, and arm movements primarily around computer-based work

Eurofound. (2012). Fifth European working conditions survey. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

Korhan, & Mackieh. (2010). A model for occupational injury risk assessment of musculoskeletal discomfort and their frequencies in computer users. Safety Science, 48(7), 868-877.

Staff’s likelihood of developing coronary heart disease increases by 34% when facing high demands and low discretionary power.

Steptoe, A., Kivimaki, M. (2013). Stress and cardiovascular disease: An update on current knowledge. Annual Review of Public Health, 34: 337-54.

Staff who are confined to computer-based work face more pain, slow response rates, increased accidents, and reduction in quality of personal and professional life.

Jensen, L. Finsen, K. Søgaard, H. Christensen. (2002). Musculoskeletal symptoms and duration of computer and mouse. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 30 (4–5): 265-275.

Staff who receive little reward for their efforts, an effort-reward imbalance, use more sick days.

Bambra, CL., Whitehead, MM., Sowden, AJ., Akers, J., Petticrew, MP. (2008). Shifting schedules: The health effects of reorganizing shirt work. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 34(5): 427-34.

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