Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of computerized health risk appraisal (HRA) when it is incorporated into a periodic health examination at the worksite.
Design: A randomized, controlled trial comparing change in health behaviors for a 6-month follow-up period was conducted.
Setting: A large financial services firm in New York City.
Subjects: A total of 161 employees who volunteered for a worksite periodic health examination.
Intervention: All employees received a physician-based history and physical examination, including laboratory tests, and were counseled on the basis of the results. Half the employees were randomly assigned to receive an HRA report with counseling from the 1984 version of the Centers for Disease Control HRA, whereas the other half completed the HRA questionnaire but received no HRA report or counseling.
Measures: Blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight were measured by project staff, physical activity and seatbelt use were measured by self-report, and change in computerized appraised age was calculated by the HRA program.
Results: Evaluation of the 90 participants who returned for follow-up revealed a statistically significant improvement in computerized appraised age and physical activity in those who has received the HRA report and counseling compared with those who had not (p < or = .05), and also showed trends toward greater improvement in blood pressure, weight, and seatbelt use.
Conclusions: Results provide support for the efficacy of HRA when incorporated into a periodic health examination at the worksite.