Practical Considerations for the Design and Evaluation of Disease Education and Management Programs in the Workplace
This article describes the rationale for health promotion and disease management (DM) activities in the workplace. It also reviews the trends that are driving DM in the workplace, such as increased healthcare costs and reduced length of stay in the hospital setting. Specific discussion of DM in the workplace includes principles of effective program design and evaluation. Some key issues of effective design involve: 1. using a behavioral model for the design framework that addresses the maintenance phase of behavior; 2. including educational topics beyond the disease-specific issues; 3. providing materials in a variety of formats; 4. stratifying the program by risk level; 5. using multiple distribution channels; 6. having the information reinforce the clinical guidelines; 7. ensuring repeated contacts with the participants; and 8. making the program low-cost, easy to administrate and portable. The critical theme in the evaluation of DM programs is to include both process and impact assessments. The uses of experimental and quasi-experimental designs are discussed as tools to determine program impact. The design is also important in order to eliminate alternative explanations for program findings.
Disease management programmes, Health education, Pharmacoeconomics
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