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The Effectiveness of Health Promotion at the University of Minnesota: Expenditures, Absenteeism, and Participation in Specific Programs

Nyman, John A. PhD; Barleen, Nathan A. BS; Abraham, Jean M. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 3 - p 269-280
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181cf3aed
Original Articles

Objectives: To determine the effectiveness of the University of Minnesota's worksite health promotion program in reducing health care expenditures during the first 2 years of the program; to investigate the program's effect on absenteeism; and to study the effect of specific disease- or lifestyle-management programs on both health care expenditures and absenteeism.

Methods: Health care expenditures and absenteeism of program participants were compared with those who were eligible but did not participate. Differences-in-differences regression equations with random effects were used to account for selection.

Results: Participation in the general disease management program over 2 years was associated with significant reductions in expenditures, as was participation in programs for certain specific diseases. No consistently significant absenteeism or lifestyle management effects were found.

Conclusions: Although the program significantly reduced expenditures, it did not generate a positive return on investment.

From the Division of Health Policy and Management, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.

Address correspondence to: John A. Nyman, PhD, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street, SE, Box 729, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0392; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine