Courses may help reduce workplace stress

Research recently conducted at the University of East Anglia suggests that individuals with hypertension tend to follow recommended treatment more accurately when they take part in weekly 20-minute adherence courses.

Scientists examined more than 130 patients with hypertension and found that those who participated in the educational and therapeutic courses took 97 percent of their medications and were able to reduce their blood pressure levels by 14 percent when compared to a control group.

“If adherence therapy were a new drug it would be hailed as a potentially major advance in hypertension treatment,” said Professor Richard Gray, the study’s lead author.

The adherence courses involved consultation with a trained clinician, who educated the patients on their specific treatment and discussed with them their fears, beliefs and lifestyle.

Authors of the study noted that about 25 percent of the world population has high blood pressure, and that the condition puts a $300 billion strain on the healthcare system.

Additionally, a report on the website says that employee absenteeism due to stress costs U.S. companies an estimated $600 per worker every year. That figure could add up to $3.5 million annually for large companies.

Results of the study suggest that organizations that wish to reduce workplace stress and boost employee performance should ensure that workers receive comprehensive employee health benefits that include care and counseling for mental health.

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