130 Evaluation of an online intervention tool to prevent exposure to workplace bullying


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Abstract

IntroductionResearchers have underlined the need to address risk factors for workplace bullying by conducting intervention studies. Given the important role of coping strategies, we developed an online intervention tool to teach employees using efficient coping strategies. In this study, we investigated the impact of this online intervention. We hypothesised that the intervention:decreased emotion-focused coping strategies,stimulated self-efficacy, andreduced exposure to bullying.MethodsLongitudinal data were collected in a cross-over study in which participants were assigned to two experimental groups (group 1 and 2) or a control group (group 3). The participants were contacted three times over a period of eight months (time lag of four months between subsequent measurement points) to complete either an online questionnaire or the online intervention. In group 1, participants participated in the intervention during the first four months, including a pre-measurement questionnaire and post-measurements after four and eight months. The second group participated in the intervention after four months, including pre-measurements and post-measurements after eight months. The third group did not receive the intervention and only completed the online questionnaire.ResultMANCOVA analyses and non-parametric tests were performed. Results showed that the mean level of exposure to bullying after completing the intervention was lower in both experimental groups compared to the control group. This may indicate that the intervention had an impact on exposure to bullying. However, within-group analysis revealed no significant decrease in workplace bullying over time within group 2. Further, the means of emotion-focused coping strategies (i.e., mental and behavioural disengagement) were lower in group 2 in comparison with the control group. This may indicate that the intervention discouraged using emotion-focused coping strategies. No significant differences were found for self-efficacy.DiscussionFuture research needs to define contextual factors that are necessary to successfully implement this online intervention.

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