Occupational stress and hardiness personality traits in trainee IAPT therapists: providing care in the modern NHS

McAuley, Laura (2010) Occupational stress and hardiness personality traits in trainee IAPT therapists: providing care in the modern NHS. DClinPsy thesis, University of Lincoln.

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Abstract

Objectives. An interactive model was utilised to determine the levels and sources of perceived occupational stress, experienced psychological strain and coping resources in a sample of trainee Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) therapists. In addition, the present study explored the relationship between „hardiness personality traits‟ and occupational stress.
Design. A cross-sectional design requiring participants to complete three questionnaires.
Method. A response rate of 73% (n = 44) was achieved through an opt-in method of recruitment. Participants completed three questionnaires: a demographic questionnaire; the Occupational Stress Inventory-Revised (OSI-R) (Osipow, 1998) and Hardiness Scale (HS) (Bartone, Ursano, Wright & Ingraham (1989) modified version of Kobasa, Maddi & Kahn‟s (1982) original scale).
Results. The average age of participants was 32.9 years old, 95.5% were white British, and 79.5% were female. 95.4% of participants reported normal levels of perceived stress, 83.9% indicated normal levels of experienced strain and 90.8% reported average levels of coping resources. Although all subscales were within the normal range, the subscales of: Role Boundary, Physical Strain and Social Support were identified as the highest source of: perceived occupational stress, experienced strain and coping resources respectively, as measured by the OSI-R. Significant gender differences were found relating to perceived stress, with males reporting higher scores than females, but not experienced strain or coping resources subscales. No significant difference was found between age („younger‟ <33; „older‟ >33) of trainee and perceived stress.
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However, older trainees experienced higher Interpersonal Strain scores than younger trainees. Younger trainees engaged in more Recreation and Social Support as coping resources, than older trainees. Significant differences were found between low-intensity and high-intensity trainees on perceived stress and coping resources, but not experienced strain. Female participants scored higher than males on the commitment component of „hardiness‟. Older trainees scored significantly higher than younger trainees on the challenge component of „hardiness‟. Low-intensity trainees scored significantly lower than high-intensity trainees on the challenge component of „hardiness‟. Commitment and control components of „hardiness‟ were significantly negatively correlated with stress, and accounted for appropriately 33% variance in stress levels.
Conclusions. The findings of this study are discussed in relation to other studies exploring occupational stress in trainee mental health professionals, in particular trainee clinical and counselling psychologists. In addition, findings are discussed in relation to previous studies employing the OSI-R. The main strengths of this study include a good response rate (73%) and the study‟s original contribution to occupational stress research and research within the area of IAPT services. Limitations of this study include: utilising self-report measures, social desirability effect, response bias, and limited demographic information available. Recommendations for future research are discussed, including: incorporating more demographics, individual and situational differences, incorporating objective measures of stress and introducing a qualitative component. Finally, clinical implications of this study are explored in relation to: the role of personal therapy in training mental health professionals, reducing financial costs to the organisation, legal implications, the use of
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supervision to reduce trainee stress, creating the „right‟ learning environment, screening for „hardy‟ trainees and introducing a „hardiness‟ training component within the programme.

Additional Information:A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Lincoln for the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology
Keywords:IAPT therapists, Occupational stress
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:17553
Deposited On:29 May 2015 15:05

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