The University of Maryland School of Social Work – the only social work program with a dedicated Employee Assistance (EA) curriculum as part of the larger MSW program – hosts the Employee Assistance Digital Archive.

The Employee Assistance Digital Archive is a free, publicly accessible site where EA professionals can post original works, historical documents or other related papers. The intent of the Archive is to preserve important historical documents in the EA field as well as to provide a national depository for all significant articles in the field.

Please visit our Employee Assistance Digital Archive Homepage to learn about how you can submit and use the Archive.

Recent Submissions

  • EAP Evidence: In-Person, Worksite and Online Delivery Options All Are Important to Supporting Workplace Mental Health

    Attridge, Mark (Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), 2024-06)
    This cover story highlights the fourth installment in the EAP Evidence research series. It continues with a critical analysis of contemporary approaches to providing employee assistance services. New findings are featured from a 2023 survey study (n = 164 EA professionals in a global sample) conducted on the delivery modality options of human in-person, human via technology, and non-human computerized digital tools. Examples of core services within each area were rated for their importance to supporting employer goals concerning workplace mental health. All three kinds of services had a majority of professionals considering it important. Self-service digital tools for employees received the lowest ratings. However, people working at internal staff model EAPs placed more value on workplace service delivery than did people working for external vendor providers of EA services. Major review studies in the research literature are also described to provide context for interpreting the study results.
  • Reassessing the Role of Leadership in EAP and Wellness Programmes

    Employee Assistance Professionals Association (U.S.) (2024-04-01)
  • What, Another Crossroad?

    Levine, Dave (2024-06-10)
  • The Hartford EAP/Optum Care24 Outcomes Study: Longitudinal Results

    Attridge, Mark (1998-11)
    An internal company employee assistance program (EAP) was compared to an externally delivered comprehensive program featuring telephonic 24-hour 7-day access to counselors and nurses and in-person counselor services. Self-report surveys were completed at the start of the service and again at 9 months later. The baseline sample included 1,165 employees and 183 managers. The sample included 800 employees and 123 managers. The Optum Care24 service had significantly higher program utilization and better work and health outcomes than the internal EAP service. Implications for future trends in EAP delivery are discussed.
  • Sampling Issues in the Methods of the OPTUM Member Assistance (EAP) Client Satisfaction Survey and Alternative Resource Study

    Attridge, Mark (Optum, 1998-07-21)
    Non-random sampling methods are currently used at OPTUM to obtain participants in the Client Satisfaction Survey and also the Alternative Resource/Medical Offset Study. Although various biases are conceptually associated with the use of non-random sampling procedures, the current sampling practices at OPTUM do yield representative sampling. Specifically, analyses of over 30,000 new clients in 1995 found no meaningful differences in demographic or clinical characteristics between those who (1) agreed or did not agree to be in the sample of potential participants for the client satisfaction survey; (2) did or did not participate in the follow-up satisfaction survey; and (3) did or did not participate in the Alternative Resource Study (medical service diversion).
  • Workplace Outcome Suite© (WOS) EAP Industry Global Report No. 6: Use and Effectiveness for Over 140,000 Counseling Cases from 2010 to 2022

    Attridge, Mark (TELUS Health & Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA), 2024-06-21)
    This report is the sixth in a series of employee assistance program (EAP) industry global benchmarks on the Workplace Outcome Suite©. The WOS measures work absenteeism, work presenteeism, workplace distress, work engagement and life satisfaction. This is one of the largest and most comprehensive applied studies ever done to profile EAP use and the effectiveness of EAP counseling. The project features data contributed by 61 different EAPs operating in 15 countries. The study profiles 141,297 users of counseling across a wide range of demographic, employer and EAP use contexts during 13 years (2010 to 2022). Longitudinal tests conducted on over 62,000 cases with paired data at both before and after EAP use reveal that each WOS measure had significant improvement. When controlling for other factors, only 2 of 18 factors moderated the improvement results to a meaningful extent (specific EAP provider companies and internal programs and depression symptom severity). The conclusion is that brief counseling from EAPs improved multiple aspects of work functioning and life satisfaction. A $5:1 ROI is estimated based on avoided further loss of combined hours of productive work time from the WOS absenteeism and presenteeism outcomes and industry standards for use and cost inputs. Psychometric tests supported the reliability and validity of the WOS measures. Revised best practices for data collection and scoring are presented. Benchmarking norms for scores at before and after EAP use are provided for all WOS measures for counseling cases in six global regions and also for external vendors and staff model kinds of providers. For the first time results for a new 0-10 rating of job performance are included. The 97-page report includes 10 chapters, 9 appendices and 57 references.
  • General Electric Medical Systems Global Assignment Survey: Exploring EAP Services for Expatriate Employees and Family

    Attridge, Mark (1995-06-12)
    This survey was conducted to provide an initial assessment of the needs of employees who are assigned to work in locations outside of the United States. A second goal of the survey was to determine to what extent these needs were being met and how satisfied these employees were with the global assistance services received. To obtain a more complete picture, both the employee and his or her family members on assignment were asked to participate in the survey. Sample of 15 employees, 10 spouses, and 15 children. Results for life satisfaction. Pre-departure needs while still in the USA and post-arrival in other countries needs. Details on work-related issues and personal/family-related issues. Issues for youth. The current life satisfaction ratings reveal that these people are moderately satisfied with their lives. The overall picture from the ratings of importance for various issues occurring during pre-decision/pre-departure, post-arrival and on assignment, work, and daily life and family is that most areas were considered at least moderately important. The level of satisfaction with EAP support services designed to address these issues tended to be variable, with some services meeting the needs of employees and others not meeting their needs. Data tables and comments are included.
  • Determining the Effectiveness of Demand Management Programs through Outcomes Measurement: NurseLine & EAPs

    Attridge, Mark (1997-06)
    Presentation reviewing multiple strategies for conducting applied research to evaluate the effectiveness and cost savings for workplace health management programs for nurse advice and EAP counseling supports. Corporate research case study examples provided from Optum EAP customer studies.
  • Create and Utilize Incredible Surveys for Program Evaluation to Assess Targeted Outcomes

    Attridge, Mark (1996-12-12)
    This half-day tutorial is designed to offer a concise overview of the methodological issues for developing an effective system that measures the outcomes of applied health intervention programs. The tutorial will teach you how to perform a logical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of outcomes research. Special emphasis is given to survey research and tips for survey construction. Next, you are invited to bring your own survey materials to the tutorial and engage in guided small-group sessions to evaluate them using the Survey Project Checklist. Finally, a critical review of outcome studies on relevant health topics is provided, including examples from ongoing programs at United HealthCare Corporation.
  • City of St. Paul Fire Department Employee Assistance Program Needs Assessment Survey

    Attridge, Mark; Jackson, Ruth (1995-05-15)
    In 1995, researchers at United HealthCare Corporation's OPTUM® program conducted a confidential survey of the employee assistance program needs for the City of St. Paul Fire Department. The purpose of the study was to identify and prioritize which aspects of work and personal life are perceived as stressful to employees. This information will be used to build greater awareness of these issues among employees and administration and to offer workshops and services to employees and their family members to address their needs. Three specific areas were identified, including 24 work-related and 9 personal-related areas. Areas of stress were rated for self and for other workers. After a one-month period, 147 employees had returned the survey (return rate of 31%) and 62 non-employees had returned the survey (return rate of 13%). Results revealed that employees rated their own life and work as less stressful than other workers. Includes data result tables.
  • Making the Business Case for EAPs: A Workshop on Research and Methods.

    Amaral, Thomas M., 1952-; Attridge, Mark (2003-11-21)
    In-person workshop delivered at EAPA Pre-Conference Professional Development Institute. Themes addressed: Conceptual model of business case components - human capital savings (employee work outcomes); health claims savings (avoided use of mental and medical health care treatments) and organizational savings to the employer from behavioral health risk management. Research examples of each ROI component. Comparison of pros and cons of different kinds of data collection and measurement best practices for EAP outcomes. Steps to conducting your own cost-benefit study of EAP use. Reading list.
  • Petitions for Extreme Risk Protection Orders and Second Amendment Sanctuary Status in Colorado

    Knoepke, Chris; Barnard, Leonard; Batta, Nisha; McCarthy, Megan; Thies, Kimberly; Olivencia, Christian; Robinson, Caitlin; Kettering, Shalyn; Huss, Sheila; Betz, Marian (2024-04-01)
    IMPORTANCE Extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) temporarily barindividuals adjudicated as being at risk of violence (including suicide) from buying or possessing firearms. In protest, many US jurisdictions have declared themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” (2A sanctuaries). Many 2A sanctuaries continue to use ERPOs in low numbers, suggesting a poorly defined risk threshold at which they are acceptable. OBJECTIVE To characterize circumstances under which ERPO s areused in 2A sanctuaries, highlighting their most broadly acceptable applications. DESIGN,SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This cross-sectional study of civil court documents analyzed petitions for ERPOs filed in Colorado from January 2020 to December 2022. All petitions during the study period were included following de-duplication. These include petitions filed by law enforcement and family members against adults allegedly at risk of firearm violence across the state. Data were analyzed on a rolling basis between January 2020 and June 2023. EXPOSURE ERPO petition filed in Colorado. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Seventy-seven data elements defined apriori were abstracted from all petitions and case files, including respondent demographics, petitioner types (family or law enforcement), types of threats (self, other, mass violence, combination), violence risk factors, and case outcomes (granted, denied). RESULTS Of a total 338 ERPOs filed in Colorado, 126( 37.3%) occurredi n2A sanctuaries. Sixty-one of these 2A petitions were granted emergency orders, and 40 were full 1-year ERPOs after a hearing. Forty ERPOs (31.7%) were petitioned for by law enforcement. Petitions in non-2A counties were more likely to have been filed by law enforcement (138 of 227 [64.9%] vs 40 of 126 [31.7%]; P < .001) and to have had an emergency order granted (177 of 227 [78.0%] vs 61 of 126 [48.4%]; P < .001) than in 2A sanctuaries. Qualitative analysis of cases in 2A sanctuaries revealed common aggravating risk characteristics, including respondents experiencing hallucinations, histories of police interaction, and substance misuse. ERPOs have been granted in 2A sanctuaries against individuals threatening all forms of violence we abstracted for (themselves, others, and mass violence). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this examination of ERPO petitions across Colorado, more than a third of filings occurred in 2A sanctuaries. Nonetheless, law enforcement represent proportionately fewer petitions in these areas, and petitions are less likely to be granted. Serious mental illness, substance misuse, and prior interactions with law enforcement featured prominently in 2A sanctuary petitions. These case circumstances highlight dangerous situations in which ERPOs are an acceptable risk-prevention tool, even in areas politically predisposed to opposing them.
  • Progress Report: Women's Career Advancement

    Vinas, Keila; Lawler McHugh, Tina (2024-03)
  • Innovations in EAP

    Hammonds, Trina (2024-04-30)
    Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have played a crucial role in the lives of many employees. Traditionally, EAPs addressed an employee's work-related challenges. However, the programs have grown to offer robust assistance even to the employees' families. EAPs help employees deal with stressful situations in their life and work. These programs that EAPs provide include free and confidential counseling, legal and financial information and resources, work/ life solutions, and telephonic health coaching (Baskar et al., 2021). EAP services are free, available to employees and household members, and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are many reasons why employees may contact the EAP services: for example, employees may need help with stress, anxiety, depression, relationship marital conflicts, parenting and children, grief and loss, job stress, substance use, and balancing work-life lifestyles (Baskar et al., 2021). As the EAP services continue to be valuable to employees, the future of EAP is shaped by modern trends and the ever-evolving work landscape. The evolving nature of the EAP shows a bright future with employees receiving more advanced help, hence improving their well-being.

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