Short-term disability absence cut by health promotion strategy
The impact of a worksite health promotion program on short-term disability usage. Serxner S, Gold D, Anderson D, Williams D. J Occup Environ Med. 2001. 43: 25-29.
To examine the impact of a work-based health promotion programme on short-term disability days.
1,628 employees from a large US-based telecommunications company who had at least one episode of short-term disability between 1996 and 1998. Of these employees, 450 participated in a voluntary health promotion program; 1,178 did not.
The net work days lost over this three-year study were assessed at three time points (one year before and again one and two years after programme implementation), and data for participants and nonparticipants compared.
- At study start there was no significant difference between days lost due to short-term disability between the two groups.
- At study end, the days lost due to short-term disability had increased by 14.8% in the nonparticipating group (from 33.2 days per year to 38.1), whereas days lost had decreased by 3.6% for those who had joined the programme (from 29.2 days per year to 27.8).
- After adjusting for baseline differences, the average difference between groups was six days; a potential saving in excess of US$1.4 million over a two-year period for the entire population, not just participants.
What does this mean?
This health promotion programme effectively lowered absenteeism caused by short-term disability days.