The effect of relaxation education intervention on stress, anxiety, and depression in female teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Author: Asiyeh Pirzadeh1, Zahra Abotalebi1
Affiliation: <sup>1</sup> Department of Health Education and Promotion, School of Health, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran.
Conference/Journal: J Educ Health Promot
Date published: 2023 Oct 31
Other: Volume ID: 12 , Pages: 348 , Special Notes: doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_1546_22. , Word Count: 289

The high levels of job stress, anxiety, and depression among teachers, which affect their job and quality of life, necessitate using methods to cope with these issues. The present study aimed to determine the effect of relaxation education intervention on stress, anxiety, and depression in female teachers in 2020.

Materials and methods:
This research is semi-experimental. Herein, 100 female teachers were studied. Data collection was performed using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale-42 items (DASS-42) questionnaire that was completed three times by the teachers: before the intervention, 10 days after the intervention, and 1 month following it. Relaxation education intervention was conducted online and offline based on the bioenergy economy model and by doing psychosomatic exercises. The data obtained from the questionnaire were analyzed by the independent t-test, paired t-test, and R. M. analysis of variance (ANOVA).

Before the intervention, there was no significant difference between the intervention and control groups in terms of stress (P = 0.385), anxiety (P = 0.168), and depression (P = 0.554) scores. The mean scores of stress, anxiety, and depression decreased significantly in the intervention group 10 days after the intervention; however, there was no significant change in the control group. The reduction in depression, stress, and anxiety remained constant in the intervention group during the 1-month follow-up. The results indicated that among the relaxation exercises, diaphragmatic breathing and meditation techniques were performed by the teachers for a longer period than other techniques.

Results obtained suggested teaching short-term relaxation techniques as highly recommended to all school teachers. These techniques include diaphragmatic breathing and meditation. They can reduce their stress, anxiety, and depression, improve their mental health, and empower them to control their tensions and negative emotions.

Keywords: Anxiety; COVID-19; depression; relaxation; school teachers; stress disorders.

PMID: 38144031 PMCID: PMC10743839 DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_1546_22