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      Burnout and Associated Psychological Problems Among Teachers and the Impact of the Wellness4Teachers Supportive Text Messaging Program: Protocol for a Cross-sectional and Program Evaluation Study


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          Stress, burnout, anxiety, and depression continue to be a problem among teachers worldwide. It is not presently known what the prevalence and correlates for these psychological problems are among teachers in Alberta and Nova Scotia. It is also not known if a supportive text message program (Wellness4Teachers) would be effective in reducing stress, burnout, anxiety, or depression symptoms among teachers.


          The goal of this study is to evaluate the prevalence and correlates of stress, burnout, symptoms of anxiety, depression, and low resilience among elementary and high school teachers in Alberta and Nova Scotia, Canada. It also aims to determine if daily supportive text messages can help reduce the prevalence of these psychological problems in teachers.


          This is a cross-sessional mixed methods study with data to be collected from subscribers of Wellness4Teachers using a web-based survey at baseline (onset of text messaging), 6 weeks, the program’s midpoint (3 months), and end point (6 months). Teachers can subscribe to the Wellness4Teachers program by texting the keyword “TeachWell” to the program phone number. Outcome measures will be assessed using standardized rating scales and key informant interviews. Data will be analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics using SPSS and thematic analysis using NVivo.


          The results of this study are expected 24 months after program launch. It is expected that the prevalence of stress, burnout, anxiety, depression, and low resilience among teachers in Alberta and Nova Scotia would be comparable to those reported in other jurisdictions. It is also expected that factors such as gender, number of years teaching, grade of teaching, and school type (elementary vs high school) will have an association with burnout and other psychological disorders among teachers. Furthermore, it is expected that Wellness4Teachers will reduce the prevalence and severity of psychological problems in teachers, and subscriber satisfaction will be high.


          The Wellness4Teachers project will provide key information regarding prevalence and correlates of common mental health conditions in teachers in Alberta and Nova Scotia, as well as the impact of daily supportive text messages on these mental health parameters. Information from this study will be useful for informing policy and decision-making concerning psychological interventions for schoolteachers.

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          Most cited references76

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          A brief measure for assessing generalized anxiety disorder: the GAD-7.

          Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is one of the most common mental disorders; however, there is no brief clinical measure for assessing GAD. The objective of this study was to develop a brief self-report scale to identify probable cases of GAD and evaluate its reliability and validity. A criterion-standard study was performed in 15 primary care clinics in the United States from November 2004 through June 2005. Of a total of 2740 adult patients completing a study questionnaire, 965 patients had a telephone interview with a mental health professional within 1 week. For criterion and construct validity, GAD self-report scale diagnoses were compared with independent diagnoses made by mental health professionals; functional status measures; disability days; and health care use. A 7-item anxiety scale (GAD-7) had good reliability, as well as criterion, construct, factorial, and procedural validity. A cut point was identified that optimized sensitivity (89%) and specificity (82%). Increasing scores on the scale were strongly associated with multiple domains of functional impairment (all 6 Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form General Health Survey scales and disability days). Although GAD and depression symptoms frequently co-occurred, factor analysis confirmed them as distinct dimensions. Moreover, GAD and depression symptoms had differing but independent effects on functional impairment and disability. There was good agreement between self-report and interviewer-administered versions of the scale. The GAD-7 is a valid and efficient tool for screening for GAD and assessing its severity in clinical practice and research.
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            The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure.

            While considerable attention has focused on improving the detection of depression, assessment of severity is also important in guiding treatment decisions. Therefore, we examined the validity of a brief, new measure of depression severity. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is a self-administered version of the PRIME-MD diagnostic instrument for common mental disorders. The PHQ-9 is the depression module, which scores each of the 9 DSM-IV criteria as "0" (not at all) to "3" (nearly every day). The PHQ-9 was completed by 6,000 patients in 8 primary care clinics and 7 obstetrics-gynecology clinics. Construct validity was assessed using the 20-item Short-Form General Health Survey, self-reported sick days and clinic visits, and symptom-related difficulty. Criterion validity was assessed against an independent structured mental health professional (MHP) interview in a sample of 580 patients. As PHQ-9 depression severity increased, there was a substantial decrease in functional status on all 6 SF-20 subscales. Also, symptom-related difficulty, sick days, and health care utilization increased. Using the MHP reinterview as the criterion standard, a PHQ-9 score > or =10 had a sensitivity of 88% and a specificity of 88% for major depression. PHQ-9 scores of 5, 10, 15, and 20 represented mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depression, respectively. Results were similar in the primary care and obstetrics-gynecology samples. In addition to making criteria-based diagnoses of depressive disorders, the PHQ-9 is also a reliable and valid measure of depression severity. These characteristics plus its brevity make the PHQ-9 a useful clinical and research tool.
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              A Global Measure of Perceived Stress


                Author and article information

                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Res Protoc
                JMIR Research Protocols
                JMIR Publications (Toronto, Canada )
                July 2022
                14 July 2022
                : 11
                : 7
                : e37934
                [1 ] Department of Psychiatry Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry University of Alberta Edmonton, AB Canada
                [2 ] Department of Psychiatry Faculty of Medicine Dalhousie University Halifax, NS Canada
                [3 ] Nova Scotia Health Authority Halifax, NS Canada
                Author notes
                Corresponding Author: Vincent Israel Opoku Agyapong vincent.agyapong@ 123456nshealth.ca
                Author information
                ©Belinda Agyapong, Yifeng Wei, Raquel da Luz Dias, Vincent Israel Opoku Agyapong. Originally published in JMIR Research Protocols (https://www.researchprotocols.org), 14.07.2022.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Research Protocols, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on https://www.researchprotocols.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.

                : 12 March 2022
                : 10 May 2022
                : 25 May 2022
                : 13 June 2022

                burnout,stress,wellness4teachers,anxiety,depression,e-mental health,teachers,support,text message,mental health,sms,high school,elementary school,prevalence,psychological intervention,school


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