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The Effects of Professional Training on Occupational Stress and Personal Affect in Rehabilitation Practitioners


Flett, Ross; Biggs, Herbert; Alpass, Fiona


National Rehabilitation Association


The Journal of Rehabilitation, 1994, Volume 60 (Number 3), Seite 39-43, Alexandria, Virginia: Eigenverlag, ISSN: 0022-4154




Im Rahmen einer Erhebung wurde untersucht, ob eine professionelle Schulung von Rehabilitationsfachkräften, die auf Verbesserung von Kernfähigkeiten und Kompetenzen abzielte, positive Auswirkungen im Hinblick auf empfundenen beruflichen Stress sowie Spannungen und Erregungen bewirkt.

Ergebnisse der Analyse zeigten, dass die Teilnehmer im Vergleich zu einer Kontrollgruppe, die nicht am Schulungsprogramm teilnahm, signifikante Verbesserungen bezüglich der zu untersuchenden Stress- und Spannungssymptome aufwiesen. Im Hinblick auf wahrgenommene Affekte gab es keine Unterschiede zwischen den Gruppen.

Der Beitrag zeigt darüber hinaus Probleme und Grenzen dieser Studie auf und betont, die Bedeutung von beruflichen Stressymptomen bei Rehabilitationsangestellten nicht zu unterschätzen.

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Englisches Abstract:

The Effects of Professional Training on Occupational Stress and Personal Affect in Rehabilitation Practitioners


An exploratory analysis was conducted to determine whether a professional training program for rehabilitation practitioners that focused on core skills and competencies, might have some beneficial effects on perceived levels of job related stress and tension, and feelings of positive and negative affect. Results of the analysis indicated that training participants showed significant improvements in perceptions of job stress, tension, and positive affect compared with a group of control respondents who did not take part in the training. There were no changes in negative affect. Problems and limitations of the study are addressed and the importance of further understanding of the complex dynamics of job stress in rehabilitation professionals is emphasized.


The importance of education for rehabilitation professionals and the relationship between education and on the job performance, are issues that have concerned researchers for some time (e.g., Abrams & Tucker, 1989; Dunn, 1990; Stubbins, 1982; Syzmanski & Parker, 1989a, 1989b). The underlying assumption is that better educated rehabilitation practitioners will perform more effectively and generate better outcomes for the client. Despite this being an intuitively appealing notion, a number of authors have noted the considerable conceptual and methodological difficulties associated with investigating relationships between professional education and rehabilitation outcomes (e.g., Cook & Bolton, 1992; Dunn, 1990; Parker, 1990: Thomas, 1990).

Several recent studies employing sophisticated methodologies have shown a significant relationship between masters level education and case performance and client outcomes (e.g., Cook & Bolton, 1992; Syzmanski, 1991; Syzmanski & Danek, 1992). These studies have focused on client populations with severe disabilities and have used relatively narrow and circumscribed indices of performance (case closure rates, case service costs).

Less research has investigated performance from a psychological perspective. Although few would doubt the importance of objective criteria for assessing job performance, it seems reasonable to suggest that job performance might also be related to subjective evaluations of one's job. Feelings of job stress and tension are very real experiences that diminish the psychological quality of life (Campbell, 1980) and are likely to be related to job performance, at least indirectly (Wallis, 1987). Rehabilitation professionals are often called upon to function in an environment that may be under-resourced, frustrating, uncertain and stressful (Flett & Biggs, 1992; Flett, Biggs & Alpass, 1992; Flett, Biggs, & Alpass, in press). Parker (1990) suggested that rehabilitation professionals operate ' a world of unremitting flux....persistent challenges in philosophical and ethical realms, and chaotic policy shifts....create a climate of frustrating uncertainty......they face decisions daily with outdated and conflicting information, and, too often, no information whatsoever.'

Clearly, one might argue that job performance in such an unpredictable and rapidly changing environment might be undermined by feelings of job stress and tension and generally lowered levels of wellbeing. In this context, professional education and training may have an important empowering role by further developing and refining the skills, knowledge, and competencies necessary for effective functioning and thereby reducing feelings of job related stress and tension. Research evidence suggests that rehabilitation professionals perceive both further educational opportunities and ongoing networking with others in the same field, as potentially important strategies for reducing the stress of rehabilitation work (Flett & Biggs, 1992; Flett, [...].

[Beginning of article]

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The Journal of Rehabilitation

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Informationsstand: 21.05.2013

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