Frequently Asked questions:

What evidence do you have that Working Stress is effective?

Working Stress has been tested by a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) with 227 NHS doctors. RCTs are considered to be the ‘gold standard’ of evidence in medicine. We believe that Working Stress is the only intervention designed specifically for NHS clinical staff and that has an RCT to prove its efficacy. Visit the evidence page to learn more.

What were the results of the trial that you carried out?

The Randomised Control Trial (RCT) Occupational Distress in Doctors: The Effect of an Induction Programme was carried out in 2016/17 by Medisauskaite and Kamau. Visit the evidence page to learn more.

Who developed Working Stress?

Working Stress is a collaborative effort between academics, psychologists, clinicians and a leading ‘serious’ games developer. The core development team is:

  • Focus Games Ltd have been creating innovative educational resources for frontline NHS staff since 2004.

  • Dr Caroline Kamau is an academic who specialises in research about occupationally preparing medical doctors, nurses and patients. She lectures at Birkbeck, University of London. She has published in journals such as Lancet Psychiatry, BMJ Supportive and Palliative Care, the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, and the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health. Her research has been well received, e.g. receiving coverage in the Times, BMA news, and NHS staff bulletins. She has authored a book and has a new book forthcoming. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

  • Asta Medisauskaite is a researcher at UCL’s Medical School in the Research Department of Medical Education. She has published in journals such as the British Journal of General Practice and Psycho-Oncology. Asta and Dr. Kamau’s article about the occupational health of oncologists (a systematic review and meta-analysis) received media attention e.g. The Guardian and is ranked by Altmetric in the top 5% of over 7 million publications worldwide in terms of public impact.

Do I have to use Working Stress every day?

No. Working Stress was designed specifically to be convenient and simple to use. It only takes 15 minutes to complete Working Stress and you only need to do it once. It is an HTML5 web app that will work on any device, including smartphones, and can be completed whenever and wherever is convenient for the individual. We know that clinical practice is already very stressful, so Working Stress has been designed specifically with convenience in mind.

Is Working Stress a mindfulness or meditation app?

No. Working Stress is based on widely recognised academic research and cognitive frameworks. It is intended to help clinicians avoid the negative effects of stress but it can also reduce existing symptoms of occupational distress. Working Stress teaches clinicians how to view and cope with stress in a more positive way. The Transactional Stress Model (Lazarus 1990) proposes that an individual’s response to stress is based on two appraisals. The first establishes how stressful, threatening and controllable they expect a situation to be. The second reviews the resources they feel are available to cope with the situation. The combination of these appraisals and coping strategies act as mediators between stress and its effect on the individual and their ability to deal with the stress.

What will users experience when they use Working Stress?

Working Stress targets an individual’s cognitive appraisal of stressors and improves their ability to cope with them. It does this by providing specific information about work-related stress, grief and burnout and the impact they can have psychologically and physically. It then presents a range of evidence-based coping strategies that clinicians can apply in daily working life. Working Stress enables clinicians to view work-related stressors more positively and cope with them more effectively. This results in better psychological, physical and organisational outcomes (Lazarus & Folkman, 1987). It also offers the opportunity for users to reflect on their own experiences.

Working Stress app is designed to make this learning process short and effective. Working Stress requires just 15 minutes of an individual’s time to deliver the knowledge and skills needed to appraise stress more positively and cope with it more effectively.

The working stress app contains 3 modules:

  1. Understanding Stress & Burnout
  2. Managing Stress & Burnout
  3. Dealing with Patients’ Death

How do I get Working Stress?

We are currently offering working stress to individual NHS trusts. The intention is that they make Working Stress available to all existing clinical staff and all newly hired staff in the future. The objective is to make changes to ‘culture’ across the entire clinical community within a trust. Individual doctors and nurses will also be able to buy access to the app via this website.

How secure is Working Stress? I don’t want any of my personal details shared.

Working Stress is entirely secure and anonymous. The app is hosted on our secure servers and not your employer’s. We guarantee anonymity and confidentiality. We will only ask for personal identifiers if individuals choose to buy access to Working Stress via this website. We will only share high level data with NHS trusts to let them know how many of their staff have completed Working Stress.

What does Working Stress cost if I want to make it available to staff in my trust?

We want Working Stress to be cost-effective. We charge NHS trusts £10 (exc VAT) per user and there is a minimum charge of £3,000 (exc VAT) for each organisation which allows them to offer Working Stress to 300 staff members. This will cover the cost of creating a specific version of the app for your organisation and for the cost of hosting and maintaining the app. It also allows trusts to discover how effective and popular the app will be among a group of clinical staff before offering it to all clinical staff. The cost for individual users will be £15 (incl VAT).

How do staff in our trust get access to Working Stress?

The process for offering Working Stress to all clinical staff is simple:

  1. Purchase an access package based on the number of clinicians in your organisation
  2. We customise Working Stress with your trust logo and welcome messages
  3. We load your ‘edition’ of the app onto a secure server
  4. You invite clinical staff to use the Working Stress app via an external website where they create individual anonymous user accounts
  5. Staff complete Working Stress whenever is convenient. It only takes 30 minutes of their valuable time
  6. Users can give anonymous feedback about their experience which we share with you
  7. We also give you regular reports about the number of registrations and completions