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Occup Med (Lond). 2011 Dec;61(8):586-9. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqr122. Epub 2011 Sep 2.

Participation in a workplace web-based health risk assessment program.

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Department of Cardiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Web-based health risk assessment (HRA) programs can be effective in primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Insight into determinants of participation could improve implementation in the workplace.


To evaluate determinants of participation and reasons for non-participation in a web-based HRA offered to 5125 employees at four Dutch financial and information technology services companies.


The study consisted of a questionnaire to compare sex, age, self-rated health, smoking, current work ability and sick leave between participants and non-participants in the HRA program, as well as reasons for non-participation.


HRA participation rate was 37% (1907/5125) and 14% of the non-participants (423/3102) completed the non-participant questionnaire. There were no differences between participants and non-participants in sex, education level, smoking, and current work ability. Compared with non-participants, participants were older (44 versus 41 years, P < 0.001). Among participants, 85% rated their health as 'good' or 'very good', compared with 78% among non-participants (P < 0.001); 88% of the participants reported fewer than 10 days sickness absence in the previous year, compared with 86% of the non-participants (P < 0.05). Reported reasons for non-participation included lack of time (39%) and not being aware of the opportunity to participate (11%).


Evaluation of demographic, health-related, and work-related determinants of participation in a web-based HRA showed differences between participants and non-participants in self-rated health and absenteeism. Implementing a less time-consuming HRA process and providing adequate information to employees prior to inviting them may be necessary to reach larger proportions of employees, including those with less favourable health and work characteristics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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