Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Workplace screening programs for chronic disease prevention: a rapid review

This review by the Sax Institute examined the effectiveness of workplace screening programs for chronic disease prevention based on evidence retrieved from the main databases of biomedical and health economic literature published to March 2012, supplemented with relevant reports. The review found:

1. Strong evidence of effectiveness of Health Risk Assessments (HRAs) (when used in combination with other interventions) in relation to tobacco use, alcohol use, dietary fat intake, blood pressure and cholesterol

2. Sufficient evidence for effectiveness of worksite programs to control overweight and obesity

3. Sufficient evidence of effectiveness for workplace HRAs in combination with additional interventions to have favourable impact on the use of healthcare services (such as reductions in emergency department visits, outpatient visits, and inpatient hospital days over the longer term)

4. Sufficient evidence for effectiveness of benefits-linked financial incentives in increasing HRA and program participation

5. Sufficient evidence that for every dollar invested in these programs an annual gain of $3.20 (range $1.40 to $4.60) can be achieved.

6. Promising evidence that even higher returns on investment can be achieved in programs incorporating newer technologies such as telephone coaching of high risk individuals and benefits-linked financial incentives.

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