The effectiveness of workplace health promotion programs on self-perceived health of employees with a low socioeconomic position: An individual participant data meta-analysis

Hanneke van Heijster, Cécile R.L. Boot, Suzan J.W. Robroek, Karen Oude Hengel, Jantien van Berkel, Emely de Vet, Pieter Coenen

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The aim of the current study was to evaluate whether workplace health promotion programs improve self-perceived health of employees with a low socioeconomic position (SEP), and whether differential effects exist between individuals with a low SEP for gender, marital status or age. Individual participant data from six Dutch intervention studies aiming at promoting healthy behavior and preventing obesity in the work setting, with a total of 1906 participants, were used. The overall intervention effect and interaction effects for gender, marital status and age were evaluated using two-stage meta-analyses with linear mixed regression models. In the first stage effect sizes of each study were estimated, which were pooled in the second stage. Compared to control conditions, workplace health promotion programs did not show an overall improvement in self-perceived health of employees with a low SEP (β0.03 (95%CI: −0.03 to 0.09)). Effects did not differ across gender, marital status and age. Future research could be focused on the determinants of self-perceived health next to health behavior to improve the health of employees with a low SEP.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100743
JournalSSM - Population Health
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Employees
  • Low socioeconomic position
  • Self-perceived health
  • Workplace health promotion

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