Decreasing stigma and illness absence within the office


One in eight folks throughout the globe battle with a psychological well being dysfunction, with melancholy and nervousness being probably the most prevalent (World Well being Group, 2022). On high of the unfavourable impression on wellbeing, melancholy and nervousness have additionally been related to illness absence, delayed return to work, lack of productiveness, and total financial burden (Stansfeld et al., 2011). Regardless of elevated consciousness concerning the impression of psychological well being issues on folks’s lives, there may be nonetheless stigma related to searching for assist (Henderson et al., 2013), together with throughout the office setting.

These outcomes, notably these concerning the economic system, have led researchers and employers to develop interventions targeted not solely on decreasing psychological well being stigma, but in addition on decreasing illness absence and enhancing wellbeing and productiveness. Nonetheless, most interventions deal with people already identified with a psychological sickness or susceptible to growing one, relatively than the overall inhabitants (Dewa et al., 2015). Equally, most interventions have included the implementation of standardised remedies for melancholy and nervousness, like psychotherapy or treatment (Nigatu et al, 2016). Nonetheless, these interventions appear to have had restricted results on stopping sick depart related to psychological sickness.

To handle this, Grey et al. (2023) developed an intervention to cut back illness absence and stigma by enhancing psychological well being literacy and help-seeking by way of a low-level psychological intervention.

Gray and colleagues (2023) developed an anti-stigma intervention focused not only on improving mental health literacy and wellbeing, but also increasing help-seeking behaviour and reduce sick leave absence in the workplace.

Grey and colleagues (2023) developed an anti-stigma intervention targeted not solely on enhancing psychological well being literacy and wellbeing, but in addition growing help-seeking behaviour and scale back sick depart absence within the office.


The intervention, named Prevail, was divided into two components primarily based on their goal inhabitants:

  • Prevail Employees Intervention: For basic workers, targeted on enhancing information about psychological well being points, normalising frequent psychological well being issues, decreasing psychological well being stigma (together with self-stigma), and serving to workers growing a plan they will use to handle frequent psychological issues inside their office, to cut back stress and purposeful impairment.
  • Prevail Managers Intervention: For managers, adopting a formulation-based strategy to allow them to work with workers and co-produce plans to resolve recognized issues, enhance wellbeing and, consequently, scale back illness absence and enhance productiveness.

To check Prevail, the authors carried out a clustered randomised managed trial (RCT), the place they randomised their goal inhabitants (Driver and Car Licencing Company [DVLA] workers) primarily based on supervisor allocation to groups. Primarily based on energy calculations, 1,051 people (together with 67 managers and their groups) had been randomised.

Knowledge was collected at baseline (1-2 weeks pre-intervention) and 4 weeks post-intervention, with adjustments in perspective in direction of psychological well being assessed utilizing the Stigma and Self Stigma Scale (SASS), and satisfaction assessed with an analysis questionnaire. Knowledge was additionally collected from the DVLA concerning the variety of sick days over the 3-month interval following the intervention, which was in comparison with 1-year prior.

Univariate evaluation of variance (ANOVA), Chi Sq. analyses and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel checks had been used to analyse information. Because the examine was carried out throughout COVID-19, components of the unique information evaluation plan needed to be tailored.


Though 1,051 contributors had been randomised, a complete of 735 members of workers participated within the examine, with 467 (64.6% females) allotted to Prevail and 268 (55.6% females) allotted to the management group. Solely 306 contributors accomplished the post-intervention questionnaires, with 268 from the Prevail group and 106 from the management group.

Effectiveness of Prevail

  • Stigma in direction of others: Compared to the management group, scores within the Prevail group confirmed a discount in unfavourable beliefs about psychological well being issues from baseline to post-intervention, however this was non-significant (p = .52).
  • Social distance: There was a discount on the scores of each teams on the social distance area; nonetheless, discount was vital just for Prevail (p = .03).
  • Self-stigma and anticipated stigma: There have been significative reductions (p < .001) within the scores for the self-stigma and anticipated stigma domains in Prevail, with no reductions within the management group.
  • Lack of disclosure/help-seeking: There was a discount within the scores of each teams at post-intervention; nonetheless, the discount was vital just for Prevail (p = .006), suggesting they had been extra more likely to disclose a psychological sickness or search assist because of the intervention.

Analysis of Prevail

492 contributors accomplished the analysis questionnaire, figuring out that almost all discovered the intervention simple to grasp, believed it was delivered at a great tempo, was of an applicable length, and felt capable of apply what they learnt to themselves and others. Curiously, there have been a number of contributors who had a historical past of psychological well being difficulties and had been already receiving psychological interventions; for them, Prevail was not as helpful because it didn’t introduce new content material.

49 managers accomplished the analysis questionnaire, with related outcomes. Motion downside fixing was recognized as probably the most helpful ingredient of the intervention.

Affect on illness absence

By evaluating the variety of sick days taken earlier than and after the intervention, authors discovered a considerably greater variety of sick days (for all sicknesses and psychological well being issues) post-intervention within the management group in comparison with the Prevail group (p < .001). There have been additionally vital variations between male and females, as there have been extra days of illness absence post-intervention within the management group (p < .001)

Participants found the Prevail intervention useful and easy to understand, with reductions in some stigmatising attitudes, mainly those preventing them from seeking help.

Individuals discovered the Prevail intervention helpful and simple to grasp, with reductions in some stigmatising attitudes, primarily these stopping them from searching for assist.


The authors concluded that Prevail is a novel workplace-based programme which is well deliverable, effectively obtained by workers, and doubtlessly efficient in growing psychological well being literacy, wellbeing and help-seeking, and in decreasing self-stigma and illness absence. Subsequently, they urged that Prevail may additionally improve corporations’ productiveness by decreasing absenteeism and workforce losses.

Nonetheless, the authors acknowledged that their outcomes solely confirmed short-term adjustments, as as a result of COVID-19 pandemic they had been unable to evaluate the impression of Prevail within the longer-term.

Gray et al. (2023) concluded that Prevail is a successful work-based intervention that can help to improve staff wellbeing as well as company productivity by improving help-seeking and reducing sickness absence. However, it is unknown whether benefits can be maintained over the long term.

Grey et al. (2023) concluded that Prevail is a profitable work-based intervention that may assist to enhance workers wellbeing in addition to firm productiveness by enhancing help-seeking and decreasing illness absence. Nonetheless, it’s unknown whether or not advantages will be maintained over the long run.

Strengths and limitations


  • The authors had been capable of efficiently design, ship and assess a work-based anti-stigma intervention, exhibiting that this kind of intervention will be simply delivered, be effectively obtained by the goal inhabitants, and be doubtlessly efficient in enhancing workers’s wellbeing and decreasing illness absence.
  • The above was achieved by way of a clear design, through which authors used evidence-based data to develop their intervention; a largely applicable methodological strategy, which included energy calculations and a clustered RCT design; and measures targeted on assessing adjustments in attitudes, acceptability of the intervention, and precise adjustments in illness absence behaviour.
  • One other power was the inclusion of managers, as authors recognised managers play an essential function within the work expertise of most workers; subsequently, together with them may have helped them enhance their very own attitudes in direction of workers combating a psychological sickness, growing their empathy and offering them with fundamental instruments to help workers wellbeing.


  • Because of the nature of its design, there might need been some leakage and contamination from the intervention group to the management group. Subsequently, contributors from the management group might need turn into conscious of the content material of the intervention, which may have influenced their very own attitudes.
  • Attrition at follow-up was vital, because the authors misplaced 57% contributors from the intervention group and 39.5% from the management group. This may be as a result of onset of the Covid-19 pandemic; nonetheless, it’s not clear whether or not the authors thought of attrition of their energy calculation, which might counsel the examine was underpowered. An intention to deal with evaluation would have helped right here.
  • Though the authors tried to evaluate contributors’ satisfaction with the intervention, they missed the chance to establish key mechanisms of change related to the recognized stigma discount, and extra importantly with the discount of illness absence noticed within the intervention group.
  • Equally, the authors didn’t search for potential obstacles to implement the intervention elsewhere, or different parts which may trigger points when adapting it to totally different settings. These parts may have been recognized by conducting a course of analysis.
  • Lastly, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic prevented authors from assessing the results of the intervention within the longer-term, so, it’s unclear if the adjustments recognized had been maintained.
Gray et al. (2023) were seemingly able to develop and deliver a potentially effective work-based anti-stigma intervention; however, it is unclear if the study was appropriately powered to detect change, as only 306 participants out of 735 completed the post-intervention questionnaires.

Grey et al. (2023) had been seemingly capable of develop and ship a doubtlessly efficient work-based anti-stigma intervention; nonetheless, it’s unclear if the examine was appropriately powered to detect change, as solely 306 contributors out of 735 accomplished the post-intervention questionnaires.

Implications for apply

Total, this examine has essential implications for apply, as it’s a novel anti-sigma intervention that has been examined on members of the general public in an actual office setting, with preliminary outcomes exhibiting potential advantages for each corporations and their workers. Compared to current office interventions, which regularly goal people already combating psychological sickness, this intervention was developed with common implementation in thoughts. While additional analysis is the apparent subsequent step, because it nonetheless must be decided whether or not these features will be maintained over the long run,  policymakers and different authorities organisations may start to contemplate whether or not trialling related interventions in different office environments can be possible.

As this intervention was targeted on DVLA workers, trialling the intervention inside different authorities organisations or corporations with the same administration system could also be applicable. From questionnaire suggestions, the present examine means that workers might welcome this kind of intervention, because it has the potential to enhance their psychological well being literacy, wellbeing, and help-seeking behaviour, a component which has not been thought of in earlier office interventions (Hanisch et al., 2016). Employers may additionally be prepared to implement related interventions in the event that they know that workforce losses will be diminished, and productiveness elevated. Subsequently, this intervention may be acceptable and transferrable to different office settings, like privately owned corporations, and will make a real-world distinction. Nonetheless, as a result of appreciable limitations inside this examine, rather more analysis is required to turn into assured within the effectiveness of Prevail.

Lastly, from a private perspective, though many organisations, together with the NHS, regularly point out their plans to help workers wellbeing, these are sometimes not mirrored in outcomes from workers satisfaction surveys. It makes me involved that workers wellbeing could possibly be seen as a tick-box train relatively than a precedence for employers. As Prevail was efficiently carried out inside a authorities organisation, I believe it could possibly be attainable to implement the same intervention with NHS workers, who wouldn’t solely profit from diminished self-stigma, but in addition elevated help to hunt assist when wanted.

There is the potential for interventions like Prevail to be trialled in alternative workplace settings, as the potential benefits could be considerable. However, much more research is needed to determine the actual effectiveness of Prevail.

There’s the potential for interventions like Prevail to be trialled in different office settings, because the potential advantages could possibly be appreciable. Nonetheless, rather more analysis is required to find out the precise effectiveness of Prevail.

Assertion of pursuits



Main paper

Grey, N.S., Davies, H., Brad, R. et al. (2023) Decreasing illness absence and stigma resulting from psychological well being difficulties: a randomised management therapy trial (RCT) of a low depth psychological intervention and stigma discount programme for frequent psychological dysfunction (Prevail). BMC Public Well being 23, 1324.

Different references

Dewa, C. S., Loong, D., Bonato, S., & Joosen, M. C. (2015). The effectiveness of return-to-work interventions that incorporate work-focused problem-solving expertise for staff with illness absences associated to psychological issues: a scientific literature evaluateBMJ Open5(6), e007122.

Hanisch, S. E., Twomey, C. D., Szeto, A. C., Birner, U. W., Nowak, D., & Sabariego, C. (2016). The effectiveness of interventions focusing on the stigma of psychological sickness on the office: a scientific evaluate. BMC Psychiatry16(1), 1-11.

Henderson, C., Evans-Lacko, S., & Thornicroft, G. (2013). Psychological sickness stigma, assist searching for, and public well being packagesAmerican Journal of Public Well being103(5), 777-780.

Nigatu, Y. T., Liu, Y., Uppal, M., McKinney, S., Rao, S., Gillis, Okay., & Wang, J. (2016). Interventions for enhancing return to work in people with a standard psychological sickness: systematic evaluate and meta-analysis of randomized managed trialsPsychological Medication46(16), 3263-3274.

Stansfeld, S. A., Fuhrer, R., & Head, J. (2011). Affect of frequent psychological issues on illness absence in an occupational cohort examineOccupational and Environmental Medication68(6), 408-413.

World Well being Group (2022, June). Psychological issues. Retrieved September 2023.

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