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Scand J Work Environ Health. 2014 Nov;40(6):582-96. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3449. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

Efficacy of an internet-based problem-solving training for teachers: results of a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

1
Leuphana University Lüneburg, Innovation Incubator, Division Health Trainings Online, Rotenbleicher Weg 67, 21335 Lüneburg, Germany. ebert@inkubator.leuphana.de.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The primary purpose of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) was to evaluate the efficacy of internet-based problem-solving training (iPST) for employees in the educational sector (teachers) with depressive symptoms. The results of training were compared to those of a waitlist control group (WLC).

METHODS:

One-hundred and fifty teachers with elevated depressive symptoms (Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale, CES-D ≥16) were assigned to either the iPST or WLC group. The iPST consisted of five lessons, including problem-solving and rumination techniques. Symptoms were assessed before the intervention began and in follow-up assessments after seven weeks, three months, and six months. The primary outcome was depressive symptom severity (CES-D). Secondary outcomes included general and work-specific self-efficacy, perceived stress, pathological worries, burnout symptoms, general physical and mental health, and absenteeism.

RESULTS:

iPST participants displayed a significantly greater reduction in depressive symptoms after the intervention (d=0.59, 95% CI 0.26-0.92), after three months (d=0.37, 95% CI 0.05-0.70) and after six months (d=0.38, 95% CI 0.05-0.70) compared to the control group. The iPST participants also displayed significantly higher improvements in secondary outcomes. However, workplace absenteeism was not significantly affected.

CONCLUSION:

iPST is effective in reducing symptoms of depression among teachers. Disseminated on a large scale, iPST could contribute to reducing the burden of stress-related mental health problems among teachers. Future studies should evaluate iPST approaches for use in other working populations.

PMID:
25121986
DOI:
10.5271/sjweh.3449
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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