A multilevel health promotion intervention in minority-owned workplaces.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities, Volume 2, Issue 4, p.457-464 (2015)


INTRODUCTION: Changing health behaviors and health-related environments is important in reducing chronic disease. Minority workplaces are potential venues to provide regular, effective health promotion opportunities to underserved individuals. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility of changing workplace policy, programs, and practices in minority-owned workplaces.

METHODS: Four minority Native American-owned businesses were recruited to participate in this study. The intervention was a set of recommended standards and guidelines gleaned from the US Preventive Task Force and The Community Guide relevant to workplaces. Each workplace selected between 4 and 6 target areas to improve over the year-long intervention period. The evaluation tool was a semi-structured survey conducted at baseline and at one-year follow-up, with workplace staff responsible for benefits and services to employees. Feasibility was evaluated by assessing the likelihood that the workplaces implemented health promotion activities in the year-long intervention.

RESULTS: Several practices and policies changed significantly during the intervention in the four workplaces, including coverage for nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), elimination of out of pocket costs for screening and tobacco cessation, accountability systems for providers, posted stair use, cessation line availability that included NRT, offering weight loss programs, offering physical activity programs, and conducting targeted communication programs about health promotion. Other practices and polices changed in the expected direction, but were not significant.

CONCLUSION: Changing workplace programs, practices, and policies is feasible in minority workplaces, with support and tools provided by outside organizations. These findings could drive a full-scale test of the intervention in minority businesses in order to improve the health of disadvantaged workers.