To assess the evidence regarding the economic impact of worker health promotion programs.
Peer-reviewed research articles were identified from a database search. Included articles were published between January 2000 and May 2010, described a study conducted in the United States that used an experimental or quasi-experimental study design and analyzed medical, pharmacy (direct), and/or work productivity (indirect) costs. A multidisciplinary review team, following specific criteria, assessed research quality.
Of 2030 retrieved articles, 44 met study inclusion criteria. Of these, 10 were of sufficient quality to be considered evidentiary. Only three analyzed direct and indirect costs.
Evidence regarding economic impact is limited and inconsistent. Higher-quality research is needed to demonstrate the value of specific programs.