How and why employees use online health programs
eHealth portals: Who uses them and why?. Chapman LS, Bowe D, Whitte K. Am J Health Prom. 2010. 24(5). TAHP1-7, iii.
To establish what population groups use online health programs and why they use them.
More than 20,000 employees from eight large companies representing a broad cross section of industries.
An email was sent to all employees who could access a web based health program with a link to an online questionnaire, which was open for two weeks.
- The gender split was fairly equal with 52% female, 48% male respondents
- The primary age groups were 45-54 years (38%), then 35-44 (22%) and 55-64 (21%)
- Most users had an education past high school level (84%)
- 19% of users were middle management staff and 3% were senior management, the rest of the users were non-managerial
- Employees' top reasons for starting the health program were: i) to complete a health risk assessment (61%); ii) access health benefit tools (40%); and iii) get a one off reward (34%).
- The top reasons for continuing to use the program were: i) comparing health plan coverage (68%); ii) receiving personalized health information (61%) and; iii) assessing their health status (57%).
- The top actions that individuals had taken as a result of the program were: i) starting an exercise program (43%); ii) changing their diet (40%); or iii) scheduling a screening, e.g. a breast examination (26%).
What does this mean?
Personalized online programs with assessments and tools can provide cost effective health & well-being support. With the ever increasing application of the internet, their use is likely to rise.