h2. Spotlight on article published in

h2. "+Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine+":http://journals.lww.com/joem/Abstract/2013/02000/A_Systematic_Review_of_the_Evidence_Concerning_the.15.aspx

_IBI Spotlights call attention to important health and productivity findings from peer-reviewed work by external researchers. Unless otherwise stated, the authors are not affiliated with IBI, nor was the research executed on IBI’s behalf. IBI members are encouraged to obtain the original articles from the copyright holder._

h2. What is the Issue?

There are many studies of workplace health promotion and wellness programs of varying methods and quality and with some conflicting results. This complicates efforts to understand whether employers that adopt these types of programs can anticipate negative, neutral, or positive economic returns.

h2. What are the findings/solutions?

* There are too few high-quality studies of the economic impact of health and wellness programs and too many inconsistent results to make general conclusions about the evidence.
* Out of 44 studies reviewed, 10 were deemed of high quality. Eight out of these high quality studies documented favorable economic impacts; the other two documented unfavorable impacts.
* Five high-quality studies provided evidence that supported the used of health and wellness programs for reducing costs. However, the high-quality studies were varied in their outcomes and executions which limited the generalizability about specific initiatives.

h2. Journal Citation

Lerner, D., Rodday, A. M., Cohen, J. T., & Rogers, W. H. (2013). A Systematic Review of the Evidence Concerning the Economic Impact of Employee-Focused Health Promotion and Wellness Programs. _Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine_, 55(2), 209-222.

h2. Objectives

To assess the evidence that worker health and wellness programs can have positive economic impacts for employers who offer them.

h2. Method

A systematic review of 44 studies of health promotion, fitness, disease management, EAP, on-site medical and disability management programs. Of these, 21 studies included a productivity measure (e.g., sick days, at-work performance, disability events) as an outcome.

h2. Results

Overall, only 10 studies were deemed of high enough quality to provide evidence for the economic impact of health and wellness programs. Of the 21 studies that examined the costs of productivity outcomes, five high-quality studies provided evidence that supported the used of health and wellness programs for reducing costs. However, the high-quality studies were varied in their outcomes and executions which limiting the generalizability about specific initiatives
* One high quality study found that diabetes management program reduced absenteeism (lost workdays and disability absences) by 2.6 days per year.
* A high quality study found that a depression management program increased effective hours worked, attributable to better retention and fewer absences.
* Three high quality studies indicated that disability management programs reduce disability lost time through decreased caseloads or early return to work.

h2. Conclusion

Evidence for the economic impact of workplace health and wellness programs is limited and inconsistent. Higher quality research on specific programs is needed.

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