The aim of this study is to explore the efficacy of implementing a stress management programme based on a combined approach using cognitive behavioural therapy and complementary and alternative medicine for elementary school teachers who experienced mild level of stress, anxiety and/or depressive symptoms in Hong Kong. A 12-h programme involving cognitive behavioural therapy, self-management, relaxation techniques (diaphragmatic breathing and progressive muscle relaxation), mindful exercises (qigong and yoga), aromatherapy and acupressure was conducted. A quasi-experimental design was used to compare the intervention groups (n = 47) with the wait-list control groups (n = 46). The primary outcome measures were depression, anxiety and stress. Results indicated that the intervention group had significant reduction in depression [(F = 3.93; degrees of freedom (df) = 2.90; p = 0.023)], anxiety (F = 3.37; df = 2.90; p = 0.039) and stress (F = 3.63; df = 2.89; p = 0.031) when compared with the control group. Participants in both groups demonstrated lowered level of salivary cortisol at the post-assessment. The pilot results provided preliminary support to the multi-component stress management programme in relieving affective symptoms of teachers. The programme may be considered as an initial strategy to empower teachers with the abilities to cope with their affective symptoms. Further evaluation using a better designed randomized study with a larger sample size is warranted. (word: 198; max.: 200).
- cognitive behavioural therapy
- complementary and alternative medicine
- therapeutic intervention
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health