Occupational Stress, Coping Strategies, Health, and Well-Being Among University Academic Staff—An Integrative Review

  •  Panshuo Shen    
  •  Paul Slater    


Occupational stress has been constantly rising among academics in universities globally, which affects their health and well-being. Although some studies reviewed occupational stress in academics, there has been less systematic evidence reviewed occupational stress of academic staff through the lens of the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping (TTSC). This integrative review aims to search, extract, appraise and synthesise recent evidence relating to occupational stress, coping strategies, health, and well-being of university academic staff. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) methodology provides a structure for searching and reporting the search outcomes. Primary studies relating to occupational stress, coping strategies, health, and well-being of academics in university published from 2010 onwards were selected from five databases, CINAHL, ERIC, PsycINFO, SCOPUS, and Web of Science in June 2020. Keywords included “stress”, “coping strategy”, “health”, “well-being”, “academics” and “university” in various combinations. The boolean operators “AND” and “OR” were also used. 17 out of 682 articles were included in this review. Most studies reported academics experienced moderate to high level of stress, and the heavy workload was one of the main stressors. Both positive and negative coping methods were used by academics to cope with stress. Occupational stress can contribute to poor mental health and decreased well-being of academics. This review can help to understand the work phenomenon of university academics and improve their health and well-being, which in turn can contribute to satisfaction and productivity within the educational institutes.

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