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Costs and benefits of workplace health promotion : Literature study to economic evaluations on mental health and obesity

Kosten en baten van gezondheidsbevordering op de werkplek : Literatuuronderzoek naar economische evaluaties op het gebied van psychische problemen en overgewicht

Synopsis

Economic evaluations of workplace mental health or overweight interventions yield differing estimates of the ratio between costs and benefits. The methodological quality of the studies leaves room for improvement. Further, there are still many question marks about the effectiveness of the different interventions. These conclusions were drawn from a literature study that summarised the available evidence on this topic. The literature study was limited to workplace interventions aimed at mental health problems and overweight. Interventions aimed at the prevention and reduction of mental health problems seem to result in a positive ratio between the costs and benefits, while those interventions aimed at return-to-work of sick-listed workers due to mental health problems do not seem to be cost-beneficial. Workplace physical activity and diet interventions generally show a favourable balance between the costs and benefits, although this is not supported by studies with a randomized controlled design. Workplace health promotion is an important tool in the context of sustained employability. For the actual implementation of such interventions, it is necessary that employers get insight into the balance between the intervention costs and the benefits. The current literature study shows that such insight is currently lacking as well as incomplete.
 

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