Purpose: Conception, implementation and evaluation of a risk-reducing and health-promoting brief intervention addressed to unemployed.
Method: Control-group-study with repeated measurement. 131 unemployed took part in the intervention group and 95 persons were matched according to age and sex and served as a reference group. The intervention group were recruited via flyers, press articles and several institutions, the reference group via the journal of a health insurance company. The reference group received a questionnaire twice assessing the same health-related variables as the intervention group.
Intervention: In the intervention group, life style-related variables - eating habits, exercising, smoking, alcohol consumption - were assessed via questionnaire. In a one-hour counselling session based on Motivational Interviewing, participants received an individual feedback on their results of the questionnaire, including a comparison against standards and a review of their personal risks and negative consequences as well as advice and recommendations, while the decision for or against a behaviour change was left to the participant.
Results: 85.2 % of the participants of the intervention reported that the counselling met their expectations, and 86.2 % would recommend the intervention to a friend. Statistically significant effects for the intervention group compared to the control group from pre- to post-measurement could be shown for alcohol consumption, eating habits, and exercise (p <or= 0.0125 with a Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons). Differences were also shown for the subjective state of health; however, they failed to attain statistical significance.
Conclusions: The results of the study indicate that this kind of intervention might have positive effects regarding the promotion of health and a healthy life-style and that it might sensitize participants regarding their subjective state of health. The results of the pilot study will have to be substantiated by further studies.