|Featured Articles August 2010, Vol. III, No. 4|
|Six Ways to Drive Success in Wellness Programs|
While employer wellness programs have spread rapidly in recent years, few firms implement comprehensive programs likely to make a meaningful difference in employees’ health, according to a new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). Whether employer wellness initiatives are just a passing fad or make a real difference in workers’ health will likely depend on whether firms implement customized, integrated, comprehensive, diversified programs strongly linked to a firm’s business strategy and championed by senior leadership and managers throughout the company, according to industry experts interviewed for the study. Recommendations emerging from 45 interviews with wellness industry experts and representatives of benefits consulting firms, health plans, wellness companies and employers sponsoring wellness programs include:
|Quotable: Break Down of Employee Health Programs|
"From designing and deploying [employee health] programs and engaging and
driving participation, to appropriately managing results, you have to handle all the
issues. You have to do the design work very thoroughly on the front end.
Developing the platform for data integration, research and development, continuous
quality improvement and program development needs to touch on evidence-based
programming tied directly to outcomes. You must also have multiple touch points
offering a variety of population health management programs because some people
respond more appropriately to Web-based coaching or educational tools. Some
respond better to face-to-face types of health advising and encounters, and others
respond very well to telephonic outreaches, effective employee communication
campaigns, incentive management programs or population risk identification tools."
|Using Motivational Interviewing for Teen Alcohol Intervention|
A brief, motivational talk in the emergency room reduced by half the chances that teenagers would experience peer violence or problems due to drinking, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. According to the study's lead author, "Therapists used motivational interviewing, which is well-suited for adolescent development. It doesn’t preach or tell teens what to do, but allows adolescents to weigh the pros and cons of their choices in reference to their goals." Motivational interviewing (MI), with proper training, can be used effectively by healthcare providers as well those without a professional healthcare background.
Researchers offered help to 726 adolescents, ages 14-18, who reported they experienced aggression or had a drink of beer, wine or liquor at least two or three times in the past year. All patients in the study completed computerized screening questions regarding alcohol use and violence and were randomized into three groups: a control group receiving a brochure, or one of two groups receiving a 35-minute brief intervention delivered by a computer or a therapist in the emergency room.
A one-on-one talk with a therapist resulted in a 34 percent reduction in peer aggression. Teens who received only a brochure had a 16 percent drop in aggression over the next three months. The study showed similar drops in alcohol misuse after teens heard prevention messages delivered by a therapist or while using a role-playing computer program.
Violence and injuries are the leading causes of deaths among adolescents in the U.S. and the incidents are often fueled by alcohol. The U-M study showed ED interventions can also reduce alcohol-related problems by as much as 32 percent for six months. The talks with teens were more complex than a parent talking to a child about the dangers of drinking and how to avoid peer pressure. The therapists’ talks with teens also included role play exercises and tools to cope with risky situations that involve drinking or violence and referrals to community services. Authors say the computer screening worked well with teenagers because of their comfort with using technology. The computer program included animated role playing such as how to handle drinking and driving and conflicts with peers. The ED can be a prime location for reaching high-risk teenagers since many may skip school, consider themselves too old to go to a pediatrician, yet often do not have a primary care doctor.
|Using Motivational Interviewing to Elicit Behavior Change|
|A health coach's use of motivational interviewing (MI) can pave the way to a partnership resulting in an individual's behavior change, explains Kristin S. Vickers Douglas, Ph.D., L.P., a clinical health psychologist at the Mayo Clinic and medical director of its EmbodyHealth coaching program. Frequently called upon to employ MI in her practice as well as train health coaches in the technique, Dr. Vickers Douglas describes the dimensions of MI and its value in determining and reacting to an individual's readiness to change.|
|New Chart: Who's on the Medical Home Care Team?|
The medical home care team provides patient-centered, coordinated and high-quality care for its members. We wanted to see which medical professionals besides the physician are players on the medical home care team.
Click here to view the chart.
|Engaging Clients and Sustaining Motivation for Behavior Change|
Question: How do you engage your clients and keep them motivated to change their
|HCH Readers Save 10% on Coaching Resource|
In Measuring Change: Evaluating Health and Wellness Coaching Performance, Outcomes
and ROI, two health coaching thought leaders present their coaching ROI models and examine
the impact of health and wellness coaching on behaviors and the bottom line. They also share
anecdotal research that ties coaches' personal attributes to optimal outcomes information
that can influence health and wellness coach hiring strategies.
|2010 Benchmarks in Health Risk Assessment Use|
This white paper captures trends in the use of aggregate data from HRAs by 116 healthcare organizations to design and deliver health promotion and disease management interventions to targeted individuals in response to the Healthcare Intelligence Network June 2010 Health Risk Assessments e-survey.