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Müller, Andreas; Heiden, Barbara; Herbig, Britta; Poppe, Franziska; Angerer, Peter (2016): Improving Well-Being at Work: A Randomized Controlled Intervention Based on Selection, Optimization, and Compensation. In: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol. 21, No. 2: pp. 169-181
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Abstract

This study aimed to develop, implement, and evaluate an occupational health intervention that is based on the theoretical model of selection, optimization, and compensation (SOC). We conducted a stratified randomized controlled intervention with 70 nurses of a community hospital in Germany (94% women;mean age 43.7 years). Altogether, the training consisted of 6 sessions (16.5 hours) over a period of 9 months. The training took place in groups of 6-8 employees. Participants were familiarized with the SOC model and developed and implemented a personal project based on SOC to cope effectively with 1 important job demand or to activate a job resource. Consistent with our hypotheses, we observed a meaningful trend that the proposed SOC training enhanced mental well-being, particularly in employees with a strong commitment to the intervention. While highly committed training participants reported higher levels of job control at follow-up, the effects were not statistical significant. Additional analyses of moderation effects showed that the training is particularly effective to enhance mental well-being when job control is low. Contrary to our assumptions, perceived work ability was not improved by the training. Our study provides first indications that SOC training might be a promising approach to occupational health and stress prevention. Moreover, it identifies critical success factors of occupational interventions based on SOC. However, additional studies are needed to corroborate the effectiveness of SOC trainings in the occupational contexts.