Mental Health Risks Among Managers - Results of a Qualitative Study and Implications for Stress Prevention
Authors: Zimber A, Hentrich S, Meyer-Lindenberg A
CellNetworks People: Meyer-Lindenberg Andreas
Journal: Psychiatr Prax. 2018 Jan;45(1):30-37. doi: 10.1055/s-0042-122163.


Research on mental health shows that, compared to employees, managers have a high risk for exhaustion, fatigue, and sleep disturbances. However, the origins and the progress of psychological complaints among managers have not been systematically evaluated to date. Based on a work and health psychological research model, the present study aims to identify health-related risk and protective factors.

15 interviews with managers working on different management levels and economic sectors were conducted. Categories of the contents of transcribed interviews were developed.

All managers reported psychological complaints, i. e. irritation, detachment problems, exhaustion, fatigue and sleep disturbances. However, a minority of them suffered chronic health problems. Whether psychological complaints persisted and became chronic or not, was associated with several conditions, among others managers' health-related risk perception and self-efficacy, recovery experiences as well as the health culture in the company.

The findings indicate the need for specific prevention strategies. Especially, managers and companies must further increase their awareness for the mental health risks associated with leadership activities.