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BMC Public Health ; 22(1): 591, 2022 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808355


BACKGROUND: Workplace-related stress is a major risk factor for mental and physical health problems and related sickness absence and productivity loss. Despite evidence regarding the effectiveness of different workplace-based interventions, the implementation of stress prevention interventions is rare, especially in micro and small-sized enterprises (MSE) with fewer than 50 employees. The joint research project "PragmatiKK"+ aims to identify and address the specific barriers to the implementation of stress prevention interventions in MSE. This study protocol describes a mixed method study design to evaluate the effectiveness of adapted stress prevention interventions and the implementation process via an integrated web-based platform ("System P") specifically targeted at MSE. METHODS: First, we develop a web-based intervention, which accounts for the specific working conditions in MSE and addresses stress prevention at a structural and behavioral level. Second, we use common methods of implementation research to perform an effect and process evaluation. We analyze the effectiveness of the web-based stress prevention interventions by comparing depressive symptoms at baseline and follow-up (after 6 months and 12 months). Indicators for a successful implementation process include acceptability, adoption, feasibility, reach, dose, and fidelity, which we will measure with quantitative web-based questionnaires and qualitative interviews. We will also analyze the accumulated usage data from the web-based platform. DISCUSSION: Collecting data on the implementation process and the effectiveness of a web-based intervention will help to identify and overcome common barriers to stress prevention in MSE. This can improve the mental health of employees in MSE, which constitute more than 90% of all enterprises in Germany. + Full Project Name: "PragmatiKK - Pragmatische Lösungen für die Implementation von Maßnahmen zur Stressprävention in Kleinst- und Kleinbetrieben "(= Pragmatic solutions for the implementation of stress prevention interventions in micro and small-sized enterprises). TRIAL REGISTRATION: German Register of Clinical Studies (DRKS): DRKS00026154 , date of registration: 2021-09-16.

Internet-Based Intervention , Occupational Stress , Humans , Occupational Stress/prevention & control , Research Design , Surveys and Questionnaires , Workplace
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(3)2022 Feb 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1690284


The reopening of child-care programs during COVID-19 demanded comprehensive preventive measures. Research to date has overlooked this reopening process as well as early childhood professionals' (ECPs) implementation efforts and resulting changes in their work practices and well-being. As a result, this study sought insights into (1) the practical implementation of measures, (2) perceptions and evaluations of measures, (3) changes in work characteristics, and (4) its impact on well-being. Qualitative interviews were conducted with German child-care managers (N = 27) between June and August 2020. The semi-structured interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed, and content-analyzed using MAXQDA. ECPs, through a combination of high effort and engagement, ensured the feasibility of most preventive measures. This included practices which were perceived to be unreasonable or ones which were stricter than practices required for the public. This exacerbated the critical work characteristics (e.g., high workload, overtime, and multitasking) from pre-pandemic scenarios and led to new work demands (e.g., changes in work content and social interactions). ECPs maintained intensive work demands and consequently suffered from broad strain outcomes (e.g., worry, exhaustion, anger, fear of infection, and reduced psychological sense of community). This study highlights the adverse psychosocial work environment of ECPs despite the necessity of ensuring health and safety at work.

COVID-19 , Child, Preschool , Humans , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , SARS-CoV-2 , Workload
J Occup Med Toxicol ; 16(1): 26, 2021 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1311252


BACKGROUND: It can be suspected that work in child care facilities is associated with an elevated exposure risk towards SARS-CoV-2 infections. It is still unclear under which conditions employees in those facilities can safely pursue their work. Preventive workplace-related measures to reduce transmission dynamics in this work environment need to be developed. These measures need to build on a solid scientific foundation and be ready for practical use at the same time. Therefore, the aim of the study is to present a participatory approach to identify, minimize, and eliminate workplace-specific COVID-19 transmission within child care. The approach presented combines quantitative as well as qualitative elements and includes a screening of critical workplace conditions and the development of preventive measures to foster a safe workplace design. METHODS: First, 428 employees of different child care facilities in a large German city reported their subjective risk of infection, fear of infection, and support received by the employer. Second, the participants commented in detail about high risk conditions during work. Third, employees provided suggestions for preventive measures. We conducted a qualitative analysis of free text answers to evaluate which aspects are perceived as critical from an employee perspective. RESULTS: Participants provided valuable and practicable ideas on how to design and improve preventive measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission in child care dealing with structural conditions, the interaction with the parents, the implementation of preventive measures and recommendations for policy makers. CONCLUSIONS: These new insights help to organize pandemic risk management in order to align theoretical based measures with the practical realization. We encourage researchers to adapt the approach presented to other work areas in order to foster participation of employees in work design to reduce COVID-19 transmission.