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2021 May 13

J Occup Rehabil

A Worksite Self-management Program for Workers with Chronic Health Conditions Improves Worker Engagement and Retention, but not Workplace Function.


Shaw WS, McLellan RK, Besen E, Namazi S, Nicholas MK, Dugan AG, Tveito TH
J Occup Rehabil. 2021 May 13.
PMID: 33983524.


Purpose An increasing number of workers in the US have chronic health conditions that limit their ability to work, and few worksite interventions have been tested to improve worker coping and problem solving at work. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a worksite-based health self-management program designed to improve workplace function among workers with chronic health conditions. Methods We conducted a randomized, controlled trial of a worksite self-management program ("Manage at Work") (clinicaltrials.gov #NCT01978392) for workers with chronic health conditions (N = 119; 82% female, ages 20-69). Most workers were recruited from the health care or light manufacturing industry sectors. Workers attended a 5-session, facilitated psychoeducational program using concepts of health self-management, self-efficacy, ergonomics, and communication. Changes on outcomes of work engagement, work limitation, job satisfaction, work fatigue, work self-efficacy, days absent, and turnover intention at 6-month follow-up were compared to wait-list controls. Results The most prevalent chronic health conditions were musculoskeletal pain, headaches, vision problems, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory disorders, and mental health disorders. The self-management program showed greater improvement in work engagement and turnover intent at 6-month follow-up, but there was no evidence of a parallel reduction in perceived work limitation. Trends for improved outcomes of work self-efficacy, job satisfaction, and work fatigue in the intervention group did not reach statistical significance in a group x time interaction test. Conclusions Offering a worksite self-management program to workers with chronic health conditions may be a feasible and beneficial strategy to engage and retain skilled workers who are risking disability.Clinical trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov #NCT01978392.