Modern working environment places even higher demands on cognitive capacity of the employees. The improvement of work ability is - within the context of an ageing workforce - of increasing importance in occupational health. But daily practice has shown that offering health promotion programs at the worksite and participation in those programs may differ widely.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a workplace health promotion intervention. The main research was focused on need assessment and process evaluation using the key components context, recruitment, reach, dose delivered, dose received, fidelity and implementation. Employees of a large enterprise, who were older than 40 years and exposed to repetitive work participated in a cognitive training intervention. 120 participants were randomly assigned to the intervention group or control group. The intervention was conducted in a three month period. In a pre/post-design cognitive capacity was tested and self-efficacy, outcome expectations and motivation to participate were measured by self-administered questionnaires. All participants evaluated each session of the cognitive training. Need assessment was performed by collecting information of non-participants including reasons not to participate.
The results of this study support the effectiveness of the cognitive training intervention for several, but not all participants. The effect of the intervention was determined by the compliance, operationalized by the key components of process evaluation, of the participants. A supportive environment at the workplace and to emphasize the benefit of the intervention will attract more participants. But it is equally important that the participants are actively engage during the training sessions, so measures have to be taken to raise or maintain the engagement with the intervention. This indicates that in a first step the individual's characteristics and outcome of interest has to be assessed and the interventions should be tailored so they fit individual's characteristics and needs.
Please download the complete report "Improving cognitive capacity by a workplace health promotion program - Investigation of access and compliance" (in German only).
Verbesserung der kognitiven Leistungsfähigkeit durch eine Maßnahme der betrieblichen Gesundheitsförderung - Untersuchung zum Teilnahme- und Teilnehmerverhalten.
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2016.
ISBN: 978-3-88261-174-8, pages 172, Project number: F 2276, paper, PDF file