Consequences of worksite hypertension screening. Differential changes in psychosocial function

Am J Med. 1986 May;80(5):853-60. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(86)90628-5.


To evaluate reports of psychosocial dysfunction after worksite screening, a three-stage blood pressure screening was performed using standardized screening and labeling procedures. Of a heterogeneous group of 5,888 workers, 296 with sustained hypertension were identified and randomly assigned to traditional arousal or reassurance debriefings, matching each hypertensive subject with one to three normotensive control subjects on eight sociodemographic and occupational variables. Subjects exhibiting absenteeism increases or persistent hypertension six months after screening were randomly assigned to worksite health education programs or no intervention. After adjustment for values among matched control subjects, previously unaware hypertensive subjects had significant post-screening decreases in anxiety that were significantly associated with specific worksites and with reassurance rather than traditional debriefing (p less than 0.05). The health education program did not significantly affect anxiety, blood pressure, or absenteeism. Increased absenteeism was associated with higher baseline anxiety levels (p less than 0.05). It is concluded that worksite hypertension screening produces minimal adverse psychosocial changes, reassurance debriefing may be beneficial, and unspecified worksite characteristics may determine consequences of similar preventive medicine efforts.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • California
  • Female
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension / prevention & control
  • Hypertension / psychology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Occupational Diseases / psychology
  • Psychology, Social
  • Socioeconomic Factors