Does work stress predict the occurrence of cold and flu symptoms?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Colleges, School and Institutes


Objectives: The present study examined the three/four-day lagged relationship between daily work stress and upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) and other minor illness symptoms. Methods: Twenty-four postgraduate clinical psychology trainees completed work stress, cold/flu symptoms and somatic symptoms checklists daily for four weeks. Results: Increases in work stress were observed two days prior to a cold/flu episode but not three or four days preceding a cold/flu episode. Work stress was unrelated to peaks in somatic symptom reporting. Conclusions: There was some evidence of a lagged relationship between work stress and symptoms, but not of the expected duration, suggesting that the relationship between work stress and URTI symptoms was not mediated by the immune system.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-44
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005