Researchers at St. Pölten UAS Strengthen Workplace Resilience
The psychological resilience is especially challenged in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees in the health and care professions in particular report that the current workload is pushing them to their psychological limits.
This is where the project “PRO Resilienz” of the Institute for Innovation Systems at the St. Pölten UAS comes in. The researchers Tatjana Aubram and Sandra Vyssoki want to promote the resilience of a group of employees in the healthcare sector that have become particularly vulnerable as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of the study should lead to adjustments in the industry in order to sustainably embed resilience promotion in the organisational structure.
“It is important to us that the measure does not remain a one-off further training possibility. Above all, we want to work out how employees can benefit from resilience promotion in the long term in order to be able to deal with crises as confidently as possible in the future”, says Tatjana Aubram, project manager at the Institute for Innovation Systems of the St. Pölten UAS.
Sandra Vyssoki, co-project manager from the Department of Health Sciences at the St. Pölten UAS, adds: “We are primarily concerned with promoting the mental health of this socially valuable professional group, so that they have enough energy for their professional activities but also for their private and social lives, which includes actively creating space for self-care and, consequently, being able to draw strength from a larger tank of resources”.
Reducing Risk for Mental Illnesses
“PRO Resilienz” is a pilot study that involves the design, implementation, and evaluation of an evidence-based resilience enhancement programme (“READY”). The programme includes resilience-building elements that can reduce the risk of developing mental health conditions such as (fatigue) depression, addictive disorders, anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, and chronic pain disorders.
5 Steps for Employees
The resilience development programme is a modular training programme based on the acceptance and commitment therapy, a specific method stemming from the psychotherapeutic setting. The 4-month programme consists of lectures, workshops, guided movements, and meditations, among other things. At the same time, the participating persons work with a workbook which promotes the implementation of their increased knowledge in all areas of their life.
The project is supported by the project fund “Arbeit 4.0” of the Lower Austrian Chamber of Labour.