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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Employers' perspective on workplace health promotion programs in British Columbia, Canada Leon Elizalde, Maria Angelica


Introduction: In recent years, the incidence of many non-communicable diseases, along with their risk factors, has increased in Canada. The workplace represents a convenient setting to reach a large segment of the Canadian adult population with prevention and health promotion programs. Given the central role that employers play in providing these programs, it is important to explore their perspectives on important aspects of programming. Objectives: This study explores employers’ perspectives on factors affecting the implementation of workplace health promotion programs, along with their motivations for implementing such programs. This study also compares factors affecting the implementation and motivations for implementing the program between participants whose programs were identified as following promising practices relative to those programs which have not achieved these standards. Methods: Participants were recruited from attendees at the 2017 Extra Mile Awards event sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society. Employers who have previously worked with the Society and offered a workplace health promotion program to their staff were invited to participate in this event. Qualitative data were collected using semi-structured individual interviews on topics related to the history and design of programs. Data were analyzed following the template analysis approach, using an iterative process to categorize data into matching patterns. Results: A total of 15 participants agreed to take part on this study (15/46). The factors affecting the program implementation fell into two major categories: strategic and tactical. Motivations were related to improving the employees’ health and taking advantage of the associated benefits of this improvement to the business. There were no differences between programs that followed promising practices relative to those that did not in terms of factors affecting the implementation nor in the motivations for offering the program. Conclusions: The results of this study corroborated those found in previous literature on promising factors affecting workplace health promotion program implementation. Companies in BC are aware of the positive benefits that these programs have for both employees and businesses. However, there is a need for dissemination of information considered effective for workplace health promotion programs implementation and encouragement of the incorporation of this knowledge into practice.

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