Promoting Creativity and Health in Knowledge Work – Development and Evaluation of a Participatory Intervention
B. Herbig1, J. Glaser2
1Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Institute for Occupational, Social and Environmental Medicine, Munich, Germany
2University Innsbruck, Institute of Psychology, Innsbruck Austria
Background: Creativity is a major asset in a globalized economy but changing demands at work are also reflected in increasing psychological problems. Meta-analyses show that autonomy, complexity, learning demands and creative requirements correlate with health and creativity. We developed a participatory intervention to promote both outcomes: Create!health circles consist of a creativity training and sessions on learning demands, team work, and stressors in relation to their impact on daily work. Methods: All 36 employees of a SME in knowledge-intensive services participated in the study. In a controlled design the evaluation comprised pre- and post-analyses of work conditions. Objective creativity tests, creativity and personal initiative ratings from participants, colleagues and supervisors as well as health indicators were assessed at 4 different times. Findings: Results show positive effects for creativity as reported by supervisors and colleagues as well as for personal initiative reported by colleagues. Emotional irritation and musculoskeletal pain decreased due to the intervention. There was a increase in learning demands and autonomy in the company. Discussion: The create!health circles led to the initiation of a lot of measures in the company in a short period of time. Acceptance was high and the résumé of employees and management was very positive. Necessary preconditions for the positive results are discussed.