Research: BELLAROSA and CHEN

Listed in Issue 33


BELLAROSA and CHEN, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago USA compared a variety of widely used stress management methodologies.



Stress management (SM) experts (SMEs) evaluated 6 widely used occupational SM interventions, including relaxation, physical fitness, cognitive restructuring, meditation, assertiveness training, and stress inoculation from the basis of 10 practicality criteria and 7 effectiveness objectives.


Relaxation was evaluated overall as the most practical intervention, while meditation and stress inoculation the least practical. Physical fitness was judged to be the most effective intervention, with meditation and assertiveness training rated the least effective. The findings also revealed that the SMEs considered the history of success and the duration of effect, rather than relevance to programme objectives to be the most important actors when selecting SM interventions. The authors also discuss incongruence between effectiveness ratings and actual choices of interventions.



Bellarosa C and Chen PY. The effectiveness and practicality of occupational stress management interventions: a survey of subject matter expert opinions. J Occup Health Psychol 2(3): 247-62 Jul 1997.


This is quite an important finding, since so many experts suggest meditation for stress management. However, from the point of view of practicality and effectiveness, meditation was the least effective of the 6 techniques evaluated. Of course, this in no way implies that meditation is not a superb practice, and one which all of us ought to do.

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