Three essays on evaluating effectiveness of workplace wellness programs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Nilay Unsal (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Jeremy Bray

Abstract: Workplace wellness programs (WWPs) target enhancing employees’ physical and mental well-being and provide potential health and economic benefits to workplaces. Workplaces have increasingly been adopting WWPs due to these perceived benefits. National and international policies have encouraged the use of WWPs to promote public health. The broad awareness and applications of WWPs require us to ask if and how we should evaluate their performance. Despite the pervasiveness, there have been disagreements on health improvements and potential financial savings of WWPs. The debate results from the difficulty to analyze these programs. Program design, program participation, measurement strategies, and statistical analyses are the main fundamental challenges that cause the difficulties. Many studies have discussed these challenges but have not proposed sufficient rigorous evaluation to validate the findings. This research advances the literature by characterizing the inherent methodological challenges in WWP evaluations, by finding solutions to some of these challenges, and by validating WWPs effectiveness with more comprehensive approaches. This dissertation fill the need for a rigorous evaluation by (1) evaluating the relationship between the methodological quality of studies and findings on returns of WWPs, (2) exploring reasons for adoption of WWPs and analyzing the assumption that financial savings drive the adoption of WWPs, and (3) estimating return on investment (ROI) of a WWP for a small nonprofit organization as well as evaluating the WWP outcomes with a more comprehensive approach.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2018
Program evaluation, Public health, Workplace wellness programs
Employee health promotion $x Evaluation

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