Work Stress Vs Occupational Stress

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Work stress or occupational stress can be defined as harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the occupation do not match with the capabilities, resources or needs of the worker (NIOSH, 1999). Additionally, it has also been defined as the non-specific negative response of the body in order to meet up with exceeding demands at the work place(Sciences & Terengganu, 2011). Cooper described stressors in the work place in six elementary groups, namely; factors intrinsic to work role, organizational roles, work relationships, career development, organizational factors and home-work interface (Williams & Cooper, 1998). Work stress has been conceptualized with many models. The most widely cited one is Karasek’s job…show more content…
Work stress among them is of great importance, as an average adult spends about eight hours a day at work environment, accounting to an one third of his life (Brewer, 2002).

Effects of stress are diverse and can be categorized into physical, mental, emotional, behavioral and economic (Thomas W. Colligan, 2005). Mental health problems may range from minor low mood to major psychiatric disorders such as depression, generalized anxiety and suicide. Moreover, the capacity to concentrate can also get impaired completing the vicious cycle of low productivity (Tennant, 2001). ‘Burnout’ is a term used to describe the psychological condition resulting from long-standing stress which is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and reduced sense of accomplishment (Kumar,
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Stigma, difficulty in making a rapport, lack of positive feedback and violence have been identified as some of such factors (Rössler, 2012). In a longitudinal study done among mental health workers, stress levels were exceedingly high across all the work categories (Prosser et al., 1999). In a review article about ‘burnout’, psychologists, nurses and psychiatrists were recognized as having higher stress levels compared to other mental healthcare workers (Leiter & Harvie, 1996). In another review among nurses working in the community, level of psychological stress was high with GHQ 28 (Edwards, Burnard, Coyle, Fothergill, & Hannigan, 2000). Literature on stress among Sri Lankan mental health staff is scares. In a disaster risk assessment done at the NIMH in 2012, it was noted that work stress plays a major role for the poor attendance in preparedness programmes conducted by the institution (Gunasekera,
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