Promoting recovery in daily life: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


  • Dorota Reis
  • Alexander Hart
  • Dirk Lehr
  • Malte Friese

Background: Work-related stress shows steadily increasing prevalence rates and has tangible consequences for individual workers, their organizations, and society as a whole. One mechanism that may help offset the negative outcomes of work-related stress on employees’ well-being is recovery. Recovery refers to the experience of unwinding from one's job when not at work. However, employees who experience high levels of work-related stress and are thus particularly in need of recovery tend to struggle to switch-off. Due to the detrimental effects of this prolonged and sustained mental representation of job stressors, interventions promoting recovery may contribute to improvements in employees' mental health. Methods: In this randomized, waitlist controlled trial, we will investigate the effectiveness of two 6-week online training programs (cognitive behavioral and mindfulness-based). The sample will include employees working at least part-time during regular work hours. Besides the pre-post-follow-up assessments, the trial will include measurement bursts with the goal of examining the underlying mechanisms. We expect that both interventions will reduce work-related perseverative thinking (PT) compared with the waitlist control groups (primary outcome). Also, we expect that both interventions will result in similar improvements, but the underlying mechanisms will differ (process outcomes). In the cognitive-behavioral intervention group, we expect that the main mechanism responsible for lower PT levels will be an increase in recovery experiences across time. In the mindfulness-based group, we expect that the main mechanism responsible for lower PT levels will be an increase in facets of mindfulness across time. Discussion: In the present study, we will investigate mechanisms underlying assumed changes in work-related PT in great detail. Besides evaluating the overall effectiveness of the two interventions in terms of pre-post-follow-up changes, we will look at the underlying processes at different levels—that is, within days, within weeks, across weeks, and between individuals. Accordingly, our study will offer a fine-grained approach to investigating potential determinants, mediators, and moderators of the processes that may, in the end, be responsible for work-related strain. From a public health perspective, if effective, the online training programs may offer valuable, low-threshold, and low-intensity interventions for a broad range of occupations. Trial registration German Clinical Trials Registration: DRKS00024933. Registered prospectively 7 April 2021.

ZeitschriftBMC psychology
Anzahl der Seiten15
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 02.06.2021