Demonstrating Value: Measuring Outcome & Mitigating Risk: FOH EAP Study Utilizing the Workplace Outcome Suite
Morrow, Veronica Y.
Sharar, David A., 1961-
Herlihy, Patricia A.
JournalInternational Journal of Health & Productivity
PublisherInstitute for Health and Productivity Management
MetadataShow full item record
Other TitlesDemonstrating Value: Measuring Outcome and Mitigating Risk: FOH EAP Study Utilizing the Workplace Outcome Suite
AbstractDespite the popularity and prevalence of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), and the historical emphasis on how EAP can improve work performance, there has been very little rigorous evaluation of the workplace effects of EAP counseling. The aim of this Federal Occupational Health (FOH) outcome study was to examine if and to what degree EAP counseling is associated with improved workplace effectiveness with this particular population. Federal Occupational Health (FOH) is the largest provider of occupational health services in the Federal Government, serving more than 360 federal agencies and reaching 1.8 million federal employees. FOH began providing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services in 1980 and is Health and Human Services’ recognized expert in this key area of employee health programs, delivering specialized EAP services exclusively to over 905,624 federal employees. In 2004 Selvick, Stephenson, Plaza and Sugden published one of the few studies that demonstrated statistically and practically significant outcomes from the FOH’s EAP. Their work showed significant improvement from pre- to post-EAP intervention on measures of productivity; work and social relationships; perceived health status; attendance and tardiness; and global assessment of functioning. In an effort to revitalize the findings with more current outcomes, FOH engaged an industry gold standard tool, the Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS). This measurement tool consists of a 5-item measure, that has been psychometrically tested and is also easy to administer telephonically. It consists of five scales that measures absenteeism, presenteeism, work engagement, life satisfaction, and workplace distress. In October of 2015 FOH began to collect data on specific outcomes for clients who accessed the EAP. This study reports findings from 2016 and 2017 data that indicates a significant decrease in absenteeism and workplace distress as well as increases in life satisfaction and workplace presenteeism.
CitationMintzer, J., Morrow, V. Y., Back Tamburo, M., Sharar, D., & Herlihy, P. (2018). Demonstrating value: measuring outcome & mitigating risk: FOH EAP study utilizing the Workplace Outcome Suite. International Journal of Health & Productivity, 10(2): 28-34.
Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS)
Federal Occupational Health
Employee assistance programs
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/8963
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Workplace Outcome Suite Annual Report 2021: EAP Counseling Use and Outcomes, COVID-19 Pandemic Impact, and Best Practices in Outcome Data CollectionAttridge, Mark (LifeWorks, 2022-04)Research results over an 11-year period (from 2010 to early 2021) for employees who used EAP counseling found significant improvements in work presenteeism, hours of missed work, distress over the workplace, employee engagement in their work, and overall life satisfaction. Also, findings showed these improvements in work-related outcomes were consistently obtained across many contexts even during the challenges of delivering counseling during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The 2021 WOS Report is based on data shared by over 50 different EAP programs and vendors for their users of counseling and other individual EAP services across a wide range of contexts. Among the over 45,000 cases with baseline profile data, most of the cases were living in the United States (77%), with another 13% from China, 6% from New Zealand, and 4% from 37 other countries. The reasons for seeking counseling from an EAP included: mental health issues (30% of all cases); personal life or stress issues (29%); marital or family relationship issues (19%); work problems or work-related stress (19%); with alcohol and substance use issues accounting for less than 3% of cases. The number of counseling sessions used averaged 3.3 sessions per case over a treatment period of about seven weeks. The longitudinal findings are all statistically significant results obtained from comparing metrics at the start of an EAP case and at follow-up about three months after counseling ended for over 39,000 cases with Pre and Post data: The analyses found significant improvements in all five WOS outcomes for the typical user of EAP counseling. Large size statistical effects were found for reductions in work presenteeism and increases in overall life satisfaction, followed by a medium size effect for the reduction in hours of missed work, and small size effects for reducing the level of distress over the workplace and increases in employee work engagement. Importantly, all of these improvements in WOS measures were also found to a similar extent in different subgroups of EAP users based on employee demographic, clinical use, business context, and COVID-19 pandemic time period factors. These industry-wide independent results provide research evidence for the general effectiveness of brief counseling provided by employee assistance programs.
Measuring Outcomes and Mitigating Risk with the Workplace Outcome Suite in the Federal WorkplaceTamburo, Melissa Back; Mintzer, Jeffrey (2017-05-12)Federal Occupational Health (FOH) is the largest provider of occupational health services in the Federal Government, serving more than 360 federal agencies and reaching 1.8 million federal employees. FOH began providing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services in 1980, and is Health and Human Services’ recognized expert in this key area of employee health programs, delivering specialized EAP services exclusively to over 905,624 federal employees. More than ten years ago, we integrated our EAP with our WorkLife program and many of the Agencies we serve are accustomed to our integrated set of resources. FOH has a rich history of working to advance the knowledge of the EAP field, and was an early supporter of measuring program outcomes. Selvick, Stephenson, Plaza and Sugden (2004) published one of the few studies that demonstrate statistically and practically signifcant outcomes from the FOH EAP. Their work showed significant improvement from pre- to post- EAP intervention on measures of productivity; work and social relationships; perceived health status; attendance and tardiness; and global assessment of functioning. In an effort to revitalize the findings with more current outcomes, FOH engaged an industry gold-standard tool, the Workplace Outcome Suite (WOS). A 5-item measure, this tool is psychometrically tested and easy to administer telephonically during the intake proces. It consists of 5 scales that measure absenteeism, presenteeism, work engagement, life satisfaction, and workplace distress, In October of 2015 FOH began to collect data on specific outcomes for clients who accessed the EAP.
Risk Management Approach to Analyzing Outcomes from EAP Counseling: Part 1 of Series with Global Data from the Workplace Outcome Suite© by Morneau ShepellAttridge, 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.