Impact of Regular Relaxation Training and Psychosocial Working Factors on Neck-Shoulder Tension and Absenteeism in Hospital Cleaners

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Occupational stress in hospital cleaners (n=50), and the effect of relaxation training (n=25, age matched, randomized), were studied by recording the electrical activity of the upper trapezius muscle at rest and during working conditions at the beginning, middle, and end of a 6-month follow-up period. A short (15-minute) relaxation program was practiced daily at the workplace to provide stress management. The amount of sick leave was counted, and the extent of depression and some psychosocial working factors were screened. Intercorrelations were found between the neck-shoulder tension, psychosocial factors, depression, and the absentee rate. The relaxation training diminished tension in the neck-shoulder region efficiently; nevertheless, the decrease in absenteeism might have been related mainly to the social support offered by the research maneuver itself.

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