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J Psychosom Res. 2004 Jan;56(1):133-7.

Stress management: what is it?

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, 2136 West Mall, Vancouver, BC, Canada VT 1Z4.


Stress management (SM) is a widely used term with a seemingly obvious meaning. The research literature contains many studies evaluating its effectiveness, but it is not clear how many different forms of SM exist and how efficacious they are for which target problem. One hundred and fifty-three studies on SM were analyzed to determine consensus in definitions and therapy protocols. Results showed that a typical delivery format exists (mostly group form, 8-10 sessions in length and multitechnique), but the number of techniques used was very large, techniques were inconsistently labeled are often poorly described. It is concluded that in outcome research, the term "stress management" is operationally defined with such variability that comparisons of SM outcome studies are not meaningful at this time.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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