• Risk Management Approach to Analyzing Outcomes from EAP Counseling: Part 1 of Series with Global Data from the Workplace Outcome Suite© by Morneau Shepell

      Attridge, Mark; Sharar, David A., 1961-; Veder, Barb; Steenstra, Ivan (Employee Assistance Society of North America, 2020-01)
      This is the first paper in a three-part series based on the Workplace Outcome Suite© (WOS) Annual Report for 2018.1 This self-report measurement tool was developed by Chestnut Global Partners in 2010 and is now owned by Morneau Shepell. It is a scientifically validated tool offered free to the employee assistance field. In this paper, we advance a risk management approach to understanding how employee assistance program (EAP) services can be used to greater advantage by employers. This approach uses an alternative procedure for coding the WOS data and for analyzing the results for change over time. This method asks, for each WOS outcome area, how many employees (as a percentage of all EAP cases) are at a problem level on the outcome when first seeking counseling and also at the follow-up? The difference in these two percentages indicates how many cases had improved after counseling to no longer have a “problem” with missing work, or with work engagement, and so on. Self-report data was collected at the start of counseling and at 60-90 days after counseling ended. The sample was 24,363 cases worldwide from multiple EAPs with data collected between years 2010 to 2018. Results found that after deducting the small percentage of cases who changed from no problem at the start to having a problem after use, the net change in rates among EAP users of having a problem in each outcome was significantly reduced: work presenteeism with 56% of cases with problem at before vs. 28% after; life satisfaction with 38% of cases with problem at before to 21% after; work absenteeism with 34% of cases with problem at before vs. 20% after; work engagement with 31% of cases with problem at before vs. 10% after; and workplace distress with 22% of cases with problem at before vs. 9% after. When adding up problem status (yes or no) within person for all five WOS measures (range from 0 to 5 at each time point), the average number of outcome areas with a problem was significantly reduced from 1.81 per case at before to 0.94 at after use. These findings demonstrate that brief counseling was effective at reducing work-related problems of users, even when most employees (82%) had used the EAP for issues other than work. This study shows how a behavioral health risk management approach can be successfully applied to interpreting and reporting on work-related outcomes from EAP counseling.