Increasing Use and Dissemination of Stress Reduction Techniques: Trainees’ Learning, Familiarity, and Family History

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Undermanaged stress is a problem for clients and practitioners alike, and little is known about why and to what extent practitioners in training use and recommend stress reduction techniques (SRT). The predictors of preferences for reducing stress (PoP-ReSt) study hypothesized that SRT use, intent to use, and recommending are mutually reinforcing and could be further increased through psychoeducation about evidence-based SRTs and other factors ostensibly relevant to the health belief model (Rosenstock, 1966). The present study enrolled trainees (n = 45) from a clinical psychology anxiety and stress treatment course, provided a psychoeducation intervention about 6 evidence-based SRTs, and examined several factors conceptualized to correlate with or predict SRT use, intention to use, and recommending variables. Pre- and postintervention self-report measures were analyzed with various methods, including bivariate correlation, multiple linear regression, and repeated measures analysis of variance. Results were consistent with the use-intent-recommend model and suggested that the intervention was effective in increasing types of SRTs trainees used, intended to use, and would recommend. Results further indicated that certain factors, such as openness to experience, familiarity with SRTs, discretionary time, and having a family history of a stress-related mental health condition, were related to use, intent to use, recommending, or composite preferences for certain SRTs. The article concludes by discussing how stable and modifiable factors might be leveraged in training future practitioners to adhere to the ethical imperative of self-care and to be effective disseminators of evidence-based stress reduction practices.

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