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Title: A study of mental strain in hospital catering management
Author: Whitmore, Dennis Ainsworth
ISNI:       0000 0001 3567 4935
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1978
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Psychological stress is that which is imposed on a subject by environmental and work factors. The psychological strain which is important is that perceived by the subject as being stressful to him. Certain activities and management skills in hospital catering management will be more stressful than others, and because the strain is that which is perceived, these activities affect the somatic functions of the body to different extents. Furthermore the degree of perceived strain should be dependent on certain long-term and short-term personal factors. This research is concerned with using heart-rate to measure the extent of the perceived strain and relating increases in strain to the activities and skills being performed to identify the activities which appear to be more stressful, and also the extent to which certain activities are generally more stressful to most subjects. The effects of long-term attitudes on psychological strain are assessed by correlating the effects of certain motivational factors with heart-rate increases. The most important results from the research are: 1. The heart-rates for all subjects did increase significantly above their respective chronologically adjusted resting base heart-rates while they were engaged on certain activities. 2. Contemporary research is criticised for using heart-rate increases measured from fixed resting rates. This thesis establishes an important principle that resting rates in fact vary over the day, and this has led the present author to develop a method for using a moving time-based resting rate. 3. The heart-rate increases were apparent for virtually all jobs. However the existence of general increases for given activities for all subjects was not demonstrated by the results. 4. When heart-rate variability (standard deviations) was investigated as an alternative predictor of mental strain, encouraging results were obtained, sufficient to stimulate future research into this parameter.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available