• A simple test for spotting stress before it becomes a crisis

    We all experience stress in the workplace, but too much stress can cause our work and relationships to suffer. To spot the warning signs of stress overload in yourself or your team, use the Stress-APGAR test, which Thomas Hellwig and colleagues modeled after the APGAR scoring system used to evaluate newborns.

    The Stress-APGAR test has five dimensions:

    1. Appearance. Does the team member look overly tired or otherwise stressed?

    2. Performance. Is the team member becoming less efficient or effective over time, which could be connected to increased distress? Or are they over-performing and neglecting other parts of their lives?

    3. Growth tension. How does the team member react to new challenges or goals? Some people may seem overwhelmed while others seem bored.

    4. Affect control. How well does the team member regulate his or her emotions while at the office, and has that changed recently? Emotional outbursts or mood swings may be signs of physical or mental pressure.

    5. Relationship. Have the team member's working relationships with other staff deteriorated? Is the team member socially isolated? These personal relationships can be a barometer for stress.

    Asking individuals to rate themselves can also be useful, leading to conversations about what help they need.

    Read more Practice Pearls like this in every issue of FPM.

    Posted on Jun 14, 2018 by FPM Editors

    Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the opinions and views of the American Academy of Family Physicians. This blog is not intended to provide medical, financial, or legal advice. All comments are moderated and will be removed if they violate our Terms of Use.