Table 1

Taxonomy of interventions for workplace stress modified, with permission, from the original table authored by Clarke and Cooper13

Intervention level
Definition and Description
Intervention targetsExamples
Primary
Preventive and proactive
Goal: reducing potential risk or altering the nature of the work stressor before workers experience stress-related symptoms or disease
Stressors at their source, organisation of work and working conditionsJob redesign, workload reduction, reduction of workflow inefficiencies, improved communications
Secondary
Ameliorative
Goal: to help equip workers with knowledge, skills and resources to cope with stressful conditions
Employee responses to stressors (perceived stress or strain)Cognitive–behavioural therapy, stress management training
Tertiary
Reactive
Goal: to treat, support, compensate and rehabilitate workers with enduring stress-related symptoms and disease
Short-term and enduring adverse health effects of jobReturn to work programmes, employee assistance programmes, occupational therapy and medical stress interventions