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Impact of Workplace Sociocultural Attributes on Participation in Health Assessments

McLellan, Robert K. MD, MPH; MacKenzie, Todd A. PhD; Tilton, Pamela A. RN, MEd; Dietrich, Allen J. MD; Comi, Richard J. MD; Feng, Yvonne Y. MS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: July 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 7 - p 797-803
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181a4b9e8
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the impact of sociocultural workplace attributes on participation in employer sponsored health assessments.

Methods: Medical center employees were encouraged to participate in free, voluntary, and confidential biometric screening and on-line health risk appraisal. A job satisfaction database, aggregated by job type and work area, was used to identify workplace sociocultural attributes correlated with participation.

Results: Thirty-seven percent of the population engaged in the health assessments; however, participation varied widely by work area (10% to 83%) and by job type (17% to 56%). Participation was significantly correlated with selected aspects of job satisfaction.

Conclusions: Overall participation rates in employee population health assessments can disguise large variation in employee engagement. This variation is associated with work sociocultural characteristics. Attention to these attributes may be essential to improving involvement in employer sponsored health promotion.

From the Dartmouth Medical School (Dr McLellan, Dr MacKenzie, Dr Dietrich, Dr Comi); Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Dr McLellan, Ms Tilton, Dr Comi); and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (Dr McLellan, Dr MacKenzie, Ms Feng), One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH.

Address correspondence to: Dr. Robert McLellan, MD, MPH, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03756; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine