RTI International to Evaluate Effectiveness of Worksite Health Programs

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – As part of a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, RTI International will evaluate the National Healthy Worksite Program, a new initiative aimed at reducing chronic disease and building a healthier, more productive U.S. workforce.

As part of a three–year, $587,000 contract, researchers at RTI will evaluate the impact and effectiveness of comprehensive worksite health programs focused on small and mid-sized employers in multiple industries. CDC and their implementation contractor, Viridian Health Management of Phoenix, Arizona, are working with 104 participating employers in communities located in eight states. The communities were selected because of their high rates of chronic diseases and health risk behaviors such as obesity, smoking and physical inactivity.

“Most studies of worksite health studies have been conducted on large employers, so a lot less is known about how these programs work with small employers,” said Jim Hersey, Ph.D., a senior scientist at RTI and the project’s co-leader. “We will examine issues related to culture, engagement and communications that influence participation, and ultimately, outcomes of worksite health programs in small employers.”

Participating employers will receive intensive onsite support for a 12-month period, putting in place a combination of program, policy, and environmental interventions to support physical activity, good nutrition, and tobacco cessation.

RTI researchers will evaluate the program activities and processes involved in establishing workplace health programs.

“We will examine quantitative and qualitative data to assess the effectiveness of health promotion activities, as well as the processes, such as building site-level infrastructure or engaging leadership, involved in establishing the programs,” said Laurie Cluff, Ph.D., a research psychologist at RTI, and the project’s co-leader.

The evaluation will include:

  • Strategies that promote engagement of employers and employees
  • The effectiveness of workplace health program activities that are implemented
  • The potential of these strategies to be sustainable over time
  • The processes involved in supporting workplace health programs

RTI will also collect and disseminate best workplace health practices in the form of success stories, case studies and lessons learned that can be used to train and guide other organizations in establishing programs with other employers.

 

logo for the National Healthy Worksite Program

Highlights

  • As part of a contract with CDC, RTI will evaluate the National Healthy Worksite Program, an initiative to reduce chronic disease and build a healthier, more productive U.S. workforce
  • CDC and their implementation contractor, Viridian Health Management are working with 104 participating employers in communities located in eight states
  • Under the terms of the three-year, $587,000 contract, RTI researchers will evaluate the program activities and processes involved in establishing workplace health programs