The aim of this study was to identify work-related stress factors that contributed to work-related stress among Swedish occupational therapists and to investigate the association between work-related stress, demographic factors, and perceived overall stress.
A postal questionnaire and a letter of invitation were sent to 807 Swedish occupational therapists, selected at random and representing 10% of occupational therapists working in Sweden. The response rate was 59%. A stress index presenting 49 stress factors graded on a scale from 1 (indicating no source of stress) to 6 (definitely a source of stress) was included. In addition, the level of perceived overall stress during the last two weeks was scored on a rating scale with the end points 0 (no stress) and 10 (extreme stress).
The main findings indicated that lack of resources and lack of time were the main stressors. "Working at a superficial level due to lack of time" was the only variable associated with high overall stress when both work-related and personal factors were included. Professional identity and clarity concerning the role were graded low with regard to stress.
Work-related stress is just one aspect of the overall stress experienced but knowledge about its consequences highlights the importance of further studies.