The effects of a health promotion-health protection intervention on behavior change: the WellWorks Study

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



*Diet; Female; *Health Behavior; Health Education; Health Promotion; Humans; Male; Massachusetts; Occupational Health Services; Program Evaluation; Questionnaires; Smoking; Workplace


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the effects of a 2-year integrated health promotion-health protection work-site intervention on changes in dietary habits and cigarette smoking.

METHODS: A randomized, controlled intervention study used the work site as the unit of intervention and analysis; it included 24 predominantly manufacturing work sites in Massachusetts (250-2500 workers per site). Behaviors were assessed in self-administered surveys (n = 2386; completion rates = 61% at baseline, 62% at final). Three key intervention elements targeted health behavior change: (1) joint worker-management participation in program planning and implementation, (2) consultation with management on work-site environmental changes, and (3) health education programs.

RESULTS: Significant differences between intervention and control work sites included reductions in the percentage of calories consumed as fat (2.3% vs 1.5% kcal) and increases in servings of fruit and vegetables (10% vs 4% increase). The intervention had a significant effect on fiber consumption among skilled and unskilled laborers. No significant effects were observed for smoking cessation.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the size of the effects of this intervention are modest, on a populationwide basis effects of this size could have a large impact on cancer-related and coronary heart disease end points.


Am J Public Health. 1998 Nov;88(11):1685-90.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of public health

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID