Work site health promotion research: to what extent can we generalize the results and what is needed to translate research to practice?

Health Educ Behav. 2003 Oct;30(5):537-49. doi: 10.1177/1090198103254340.


Information on external validity of work site health promotion research is essential to translate research findings to practice. The authors provide a literature review of work site health behavior interventions. Using the RE-AIM framework, they summarize characteristics and results of these studies to document reporting of intervention reach, adoption, implementation, and maintenance. The authors reviewed a total of 24 publications from 11 leading health behavior journals. They found that participation rates among eligible employees were reported in 87.5% of studies; only 25% of studies reported on intervention adoption. Data on characteristics of participants versus nonparticipants were reported in fewer than 10% of studies. Implementation data were reported in 12.5% of the studies. Only 8% of studies reported any type of maintenance data. Stronger emphasis is needed on representativeness of employees, work site settings studied, and longer term results. Examples of how this can be done are provided.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Program Evaluation*