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PLoS One. 2015 Mar 23;10(3):e0121174. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121174. eCollection 2015.

Online health check for reducing alcohol intake among employees: a feasibility study in six workplaces across England.

Author information

1
Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, London, United Kingdom.
2
Institute of Health & Society, Newcastle University, Newcastle, United Kingdom.
3
Alcohol Health Network, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Most hazardous and harmful drinkers are of working age and do not seek help with their drinking. Occupational health services are uniquely placed to universally screen employees across the range of socioeconomic and ethnic groups. The aim was to explore the feasibility and acceptability of offering electronic screening and brief intervention for alcohol misuse in the context of a health check in six different workplace settings.

METHODS AND FINDINGS:

Employees were recruited from six workplaces across England, including three local authorities, one university, one hospital and one petro-chemical company. A total of 1,254 (8%) employees completed the health check and received personalised feedback on their alcohol intake, alongside feedback on smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity. Most participants were female (65%) and of 'White British' ethnicity (94%), with a mean age of 43 years (SD 11). Participants were mostly in Intermediate occupations (58%), followed by Higher managerial / professional (39%) and Routine and manual occupations (2%). A quarter of participants (25%) were drinking at hazardous levels (33% male, 21% female), which decreased with age. Sixty-four percent (n=797) of participants completed online follow-up at three months. Most participants were supportive of workplaces offering employees an online health check (95%), their preferred format was online (91%) and many were confident of the confidentiality of their responses (60%). Whilst the feedback reminded most participants of things they already knew (75%), some were reportedly motivated to change their behaviour (13%).

CONCLUSIONS:

Online health screening and personalised feedback appears feasible and acceptable, but challenges include low participation rates, potentially attracting 'worried well' employees rather than those at greatest health risk, and less acceptance of the approach among older employees and those from ethnic minority backgrounds and routine or manual occupations.

PMID:
25798596
PMCID:
PMC4370494
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0121174
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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