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Mental detachment from work as an indicator of recovery: Outcomes, antecedents and associated interventions

(in German)

Objective: Recovery is an essential prerequisite in substantially reducing the negative work-related consequences of stress. In recent years, psychological detachment from work during after-work periods has been investigated as a psychological factor for the recovery of employees. This article aims to present the current state of knowledge about psychological detachment and its outcomes, antecedents and associated interventions.

Methods: Results from existing systematic reviews are reported and supplemented by more recent findings.

Results: Psychological detachment from work is positively correlated with the self-reported measures of health and well-being and work performance. Job demands (e.g. quantitative demands, emotional demands) correlate negatively with psychological detachment from work, while work resources (e.g. social support, job control) correlate positively. Psychological traits (e.g. negative affectivity and neuroticism, heavy work investment) were identified as additional negative predictors, but this is not the case for demographic characteristics (age, gender). Effects of organisational interventions to improve psychological detachment have thus far hardly been examined. Behavioural interventions have mainly beneficial effects on psychological detachment.

Conclusions: Psychological detachment from work is an important variable linking work-related factors with stress-related outcomes and thus represents an early indicator of work-related impairments relevant to recovery. Future research should focus on behavioural interventions for improving recovery.

This article is published in the Journal "Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin, Umweltmedizin : ASU, Zeitschrift für medizinische Prävention", Volume 53, Issue December 2018, pp. 25-31.

Please download the article "Mental detachment from work as an indicator of recovery: Outcomes, antecedents and associated interventions" (in German only).

Bibliographic information

J. Wendsche, A. Lohmann-Haislah, A. Schulz, I. Schöllgen:
Mentales Abschalten von der Arbeit als Erholungsindikator - Wirkungen, Einflussfaktoren und Gestaltungsansätze. 
in: Arbeitsmedizin, Sozialmedizin, Umweltmedizin : ASU, Zeitschrift für medizinische Prävention, Volume 53, Sonderheft 2018. pages 25-31, Project number: F 2353

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