Research: NODA, OONO and HAMADA,

Listed in Issue 61

Abstract

NODA, OONO and HAMADA, Osaka Prefectural Mental Health and Welfare Center, Osaka, Japan evaluated the efficacy of stress management classes (SMCs) in comparison with an educational program in improving mental health .

Background

Interest in mental health promotion has been increasing, but it is unclear what are the most appropriate approaches.

Methodology

The study evaluated individuals who attended SMCs, which incorporated education in the concept of stress and instruction in autogenic training as a relaxation technique, held at the Higashi Osaka City Naka Health Center four times over 2 months. Controls for the study were individuals who attended health promotion classes (HPCs), which were aimed at preventing chronic physical diseases and consisted mainly of exercise, at the Osaka Prefectural Kaizuka Health Center once a week for 3 months.

Results

People who attended SMCs were more likely to have mental health problems than those who attended HPCs. Both SMC and HPC attendees reported improvements in their mental health status as assessed on the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and exhibited significant decreases in blood pressure.

Conclusion

Both SMCs and HPCs were effective in improving mental health status. However, mentally ill patients in the SMC group could be diagnosed and treated at an earlier stage. The term 'stress management' was useful because people suffering stress were likely to be interested in it.

References

Noda T et al. (Efficacy of stress management classes at a health center). Nippon Koshu Eisei 47 (6): 476-85. Jun 2000.

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