Stress busters
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Stress busters

Kirstin Sharp Clinical Psychologist, Borders Primary Care NHS Trust
Karen McKenzie Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Psychological Services, Galashiels
George Murray Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Lothian Primary Care NHS Trust, Haddington, East Lothian

Kirstin Sharp, George Murray and Karen McKenzie report on a study which examined the coping strategies used by staff working in learning disability services

Care work in learning disability services has long been seen to be a stressful occupation (Colligan et al 1997) and the literature in this area is growing. Payne (1999) described stress as referring to a process which involves some factors that cause or precipitate individuals to think they are unable to cope with the situation facing them. Resulting feelings can include anxiety, tension, frustration and anger, which arise from the recognition that they are failing in some way and the situation is getting out of their control. Staff members in the human service field spend a great deal of time in intense interaction with other people. Stress can arise from this intense involvement and chronic stress can lead to burnout (Caton et al 1988).

Learning Disability Practice. 5, 6, 12-16. doi: 10.7748/ldp2002.

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