177939 Establishing a Sustainable Participatory Occupational Health/Health Promotion Program Among Nursing Home Employees: Preparatory Studies and Challenges

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 10:45 AM

Marian R. Flum, ScD , Work Environment Dept., University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA
Cheryl West, MS , Work Environment Dept., University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA
Health promotion (HP) programs that target individual behavior alone can lead to behavior change and thus improvements in health; however the best approaches employ participatory interventions to instill a sense of empowerment and bolster program effectiveness. This participatory intervention is intended to improve and protect the health of nursing home employees and produce sustainable health protection and improvement programs. It will address psychosocial environment and work organization issues that impact negatively on health of nursing home workers, as well as general health concerns of workers at study sites. It broadens the concept of health promotion to include addressing occupational and institutional barriers to health. It is also intended to increase empowerment and self-efficacy of employees at the study sites. The aim is to develop a permanent participatory health protection and promotion (HPP) program that becomes part of the ongoing operation of the study sites. Identifying appropriate sites for such an intervention is critical. This presentation will describe this preparatory process including interviews to assess management flexibility, organizational character, responsiveness to employee concerns, opportunities for employee input and participation, and interest in employee health and health promotion. A series of focus groups with nursing aides identified workers' concerns about workplace health, personal health, work organization, opportunities for employee input and participation, and suggestions for workplace improvement and health promoting programs. Challenges to establishing, facilitating, and

training an ongoing, effective HPP team that analyzes needs, implements programs, evaluates outcomes, and develops clear arguments for change will be discussed.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the advantages to linking occupational health and work organization with health promotion 2. Identify the process of assessing organizational readiness for a worker-based Health Protection/Health Promotion team 2.Discuss organization and results of worker focus groups and management interviews 3. Analyze the organizational and occupational issues that affect workers' health 4.Describe challenges to developing an effective, ongoing team

Keywords: Occupational Health, Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I designed program and analyzed data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.