Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing the impact of an incentivized employee wellness program on participation and weight
by Fink, Jennifer, Ph.D., The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, 2014, 129; 3646819
Abstract (Summary)

Introduction: Employers are increasingly adopting workplace wellness programs designed to improve employee health and decrease employer costs associated with health insurance and job absenteeism. This dissertation examines the outcomes of 6,375 obese health care workers who were offered financial incentives for participating in an employee wellness program (EWP) as they relate to participation and potential change in body mass index (BMI). This study aims to contribute to three distinct literatures, including health promotion, health policy and behavioral economics. This study employs the use of two theoretical approaches to explain participation patterns in the EWP and alternative wellness activities: the health belief model and behavioral economics.

Methods: The study is a retrospective program evaluation using a dataset generated from two components of data from the health care organization. This study employed a quasiexperimental, nonequivalent, two-group design (i.e. participants and nonparticipants) examining participation rates in alternative activities offered for weight loss as well as a pretest-posttest evaluation of change in BMI in alternative wellness activities and overall BMI change from 2013 to 2014.

Results: Of the 6,375 health care workers with BMI ≥ 30 (35% of weighed employees), only 3,094 employees (47%) chose to participate in alternative activities intervention offered by the organization. The mean BMI in 2014 was 36.7 for nonparticipants and 35.5 for participants, a reduction in BMI of 1.2 (P<0.0001). The results of this dissertation are positive and showed weight reduction in the obese population occurred through Aurora Health Care's EWP.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ihrke, Doug M.
Commitee: Andersson, FrederiK O., Cisler, Ron A., Greer, Ann L., Velez, William
School: The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Department: Urban Studies
School Location: United States -- Wisconsin
Source: DAI-B 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Public health, Health care management
Keywords: BMI, Employee wellnss, Employer, Health care costs, Health promotion, Weight
Publication Number: 3646819
ISBN: 9781321368680
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