Facilitating stress prevention in micro and small-sized enterprises: protocol for a mixed method study to evaluate the effectiveness and implementation process of targeted web-based interventions

Miriam Engels*, Leif Boß, Judith Engels, Rebekka Kuhlmann, Johanna Kuske, Sarah Lepper, Lutz Lesener, Valeria Pavlista, Mathias Diebig, Thorsten Lunau, Sascha A. Ruhle, Florian B. Zapkau, Peter Angerer, Jörg Hoewner, Dirk Lehr, Christian Schwens, Stefan Süß, Ines C. Wulf, Nico Dragano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number591
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Public Health
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2022

Keywords

  • Web-based intervention
  • MSE
  • Stress prevention
  • Occupational health
  • Implementation
  • Process evaluation
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • MENTAL-ILLNESS
  • MANAGEMENT INTERVENTION
  • HEALTH-PROMOTION
  • WORKPLACE
  • EMPLOYEES
  • EFFICACY
  • GUIDANCE
  • SYSTEMS
  • SCALE

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