Evaluation of a stress management course in adult education centres in rural Australia

Hawkins, Kate, Reddy, Prasuna and Bunker, Steve 2007, Evaluation of a stress management course in adult education centres in rural Australia, Australian journal of rural health, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 107-113, doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2007.00862.x.

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Title Evaluation of a stress management course in adult education centres in rural Australia
Author(s) Hawkins, Kate
Reddy, Prasuna
Bunker, Steve
Journal name Australian journal of rural health
Volume number 15
Issue number 2
Start page 107
End page 113
Publisher Association for Australian Rural Nurses
Place of publication Armidale, N.S.W.
Publication date 2007
ISSN 1038-5282
Keyword(s) anxiety
mental health
Summary Objective: To investigate whether attending a six-week stress management course in a rural adult education centre is effective in reducing participants' levels of stress, anxiety and depression.

Design: Repeated measures design using self-report measures of stress, anxiety and depression at commencement and completion of a six-week stress management course, and six months post-completion follow up.

Setting and participants
: One hundred and thirty-two adults (age range 18–73 years) living in a rural community who self-enrolled in the stress management course at adult education centres.

Intervention: The course consisted of six weekly group sessions. Each two-hour session conducted by mental health professionals, included teaching cognitive behavioural strategies targeted at reducing individual symptoms of stress.

Main outcome measures
: Comparative analysis of pre- and post-test and six-month follow up on measures of stress (Stress Symptom Checklist), anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale).

: Results indicated a significant reduction in stress symptoms (F(7,90) = 34.92, P < 0.001), anxiety and depression (F(3,95) = 87.92, P < 0.001) from course commencement to course completion. These improvements were sustained six months after course completion for stress symptoms (F(11,65) = 22.40, P < 0.001), anxiety and depression (F(5,73) = 41.78, P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Findings demonstrate the stress management course is an effective community intervention in a rural community. Challenges for future implementation of the program are discussed.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1584.2007.00862.x
Field of Research 111712 Health Promotion
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2007, National Rural Health Alliance
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30007103

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