Clinical and cost outcomes of multifactorial, cardiovascular risk management interventions in worksites: A comprehensive review and analysis

Kenneth R. Pelletier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


This paper is a critical review of the clinical and cost outcome evaluation studies of multifactorial, comprehensive, cardiovascular risk management programs in worksites. A comprehensive international literature search conducted under the auspices of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute identified 17 articles based on 12 studies that examined the clinical outcomes of multifactorial, comprehensive programs. These articles were identified through MEDLINE, manual searches of recent journals, and through direct inquiries to worksite health promotion researchers. All studies were conducted between 1978 and 1995, with 1978 being the date of the first citation of a methodologically rigorous evaluation. Of the 12 research studies, only 8 utilized the worksite as both the unit of assignment and as the unit of analysis. None of the studies analyzed adequately for cost effectiveness. Given this limitation, this review briefly considers the relevant worksite research that has demonstrated cost outcomes. Worksite- based, multifactorial cardiovascular intervention programs reviewed for this article varied widely in the comprehensiveness, intensity, and duration of both the interventions and evaluations. Results from randomized trials suggest that providing opportunities for individualized, cardiovascular risk reduction counseling for high-risk employees within the context of comprehensive programming may be the critical component of an effective worksite intervention. Despite the many limitations of the current methodologies of the 12 studies, the majority of the research to date indicates the following: (1) favorable clinical and cost outcomes; (2) that more recent and more rigorously designed research tends to support rather than refute earlier and less rigorously designed studies; and (3) that rather than interpreting the methodological flaws and diversity as inherently negative, one may consider it as indicative of a robust phenomena evident in many types of worksites, with diverse employees, differing interventions, and varying degrees of methodological sophistication. Results of these studies reviewed provide both cautions optimism about the effectiveness of these worksite programs and insights regarding the essential components and characteristics of successful programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1169
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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