The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3232.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 8

Abstract #64248

Health and Behavior Changes in the First Year: Is a New Job in a Medical Setting a “Cue to Action?”

Brenda L. Rooney, PhD1, Kathy J. Smalley, BS2, and Sarah J. Havens, BS1. (1) Community and Preventive Care Services, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, 1836 South Avenue, La Crosse, WI 54601, 608-775-2152,, (2) Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation, Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, 1836 South Avenue, La Crosse, WI 54601

Introduction: Research has shown a relationship between health, job satisfaction, and productivity in the general workforce; little information is available regarding health care workers. What affect can working in a medical setting have on new employees’ health? Methods: New employees at a medical center completed a health risk appraisal (HRA). One year later, those still employed completed a second HRA. Results: 574 of 830 new employees in 2001 (69%) maintained employment one year later. Those no longer employed were younger, more likely to be male, single, current smokers, drink and drive in the past month, and wear seatbelts less. 291 (51%) completed a follow-up survey. Those not completing the survey were more likely to be male and smoking, but less likely to drink and drive. Changes showed: body mass index increased in 38% and decreased in 56%; 3% initiated smoking and 3% quit smoking; 25% exercised less, 14% exercised more; 28% indicated their health was somewhat or much better; 65% indicated their health knowledge had improved; and 40% were more aware of their own health one year later. 78% had an annual exam and 55% had received “informal” health care during the year. Best predictors of improved health were: female, married, weight loss, and improved exercise level. Wellness program awareness and participation were related to improved health awareness but not health improvements. Conclusions: Employment in a medical setting provides better access to formal and informal health care. This care plays a significant role in behavior, health awareness, and health improvement.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Health Promotion, Health Care Workers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

What's New in Worksite Health Promotion Research and Practice?

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA