Employer adoption of evidence-based chronic disease prevention practices: a pilot study

Prev Chronic Dis. 2008 Jul;5(3):A92. Epub 2008 Jun 15.


Background: We conducted a pilot test of American Cancer Society Workplace Solutions, an intervention that takes a marketing approach to increasing employers' adoption of evidence-based practices to prevent and control chronic diseases among their employees.

Context: We delivered the intervention and assessed the changes in practices of 8 large employers in the Pacific Northwest.

Methods: Workplace Solutions recommends 15 employer practices in 5 categories: 1) health insurance benefits, 2) policies, 3) workplace programs, 4) health-promoting communication, and 5) tracking of employee health behaviors to measure progress. The intervention includes 4 meetings with employers over 2 months and begins with a questionnaire-based assessment of employer practices. Tailored recommendations follow, along with practice-specific implementation assistance on requested topics. We tested the intervention in a before-after study without a comparison group.

Consequences: The employers ranged in size from 7500 to 115,522 employees and included private companies and public employers. Seven of the eight employers implemented more of the recommended practices at follow-up (an average of 13 months after the intervention) than at baseline. Overall, implementation of the practices increased from 38% at baseline to 61% at follow-up (P = .02).

Interpretation: Workplace Solutions is a promising new approach to bringing evidence-based best practices for preventing chronic disease to large numbers of adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Northwestern United States
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pilot Projects