Comparative analysis of factors influencing participation in an employee health promotion program, including characterizations of participants and nonparticipants Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3t945t63b

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  • With rapidly rising health care expenditures, health care cost containment has become a major issue facing this nation. A phenomenal growth in worksite health promotion has occurred with the recognition that these programs have the potential to reduce these costs. However, to be effective as a cost containment strategy, health promotion programs must successfully attract participants, particularly those whose health is most at-risk. Due to limited research on issues of participation, there is a need to investigate the characteristics of individuals attracted to worksite health promotion programs and the factors that influence their participation. The purpose of this study was to explore the characterization of participants and nonparticipants and to examine the factors that influence participation in health promotion programs. A self-selected participant group (n=173) was compared to a nonparticipant group (n =146) with respect to sociodemographic characteristics, health care costs, health status, and health risk behaviors. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from the employer's records and from a questionnaire designed to address specific components of the program. Results indicated that management/administrative staff were more likely to participate in the health promotion program than were classified or faculty staff. For the period of the survey, participants were also more likely to be nonsmokers and were less likely to be injured on-the-job during one of the survey years. The workers' compensation claims costs for nonparticipants were significantly higher in one survey year and over the two-year average period considered. However, the nonparticipant claims were strongly influenced by one costly claim in 1988. The two groups did not differ when the absenteeism data from the employer's records were analyzed. In addition, it was found that subjects with the highest levels of participation also had the fewest number of children living in the household. Time constraints as a result of job schedule, work/activity load, and meeting times of the activities were the most important factors limiting participation in the program. Further research is needed to assess program effectiveness and program impact upon employee health and health care costs. The analysis should be conducted over a longer period of time and comparisons should be made within as well as between groups.
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