Socio-economic inequalities in the effectiveness of workplace health promotion programmes on body mass index: An individual participant data meta-analysis

Suzan J.W. Robroek*, Karen M. Oude Hengel, Allard J. van der Beek, Cécile R.L. Boot, Frank J. van Lenthe, Alex Burdorf, Pieter Coenen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This individual participant data meta-analysis assessed the effectiveness of workplace health promotion programmes on body mass index (BMI) across socio-economic groups and whether study and intervention characteristics explained inequalities in effectiveness. Studies were eligible if they assessed the effect of a workplace health promotion programme on BMI in the Netherlands, included workers of at least two different socio-economic positions (SEPs) and had a study design with premeasurement and postmeasurement and control condition. Data of 13 studies presenting 16 interventions (5183 participants) were harmonized. In a two-stage meta-analysis, the interaction between intervention and SEP on BMI was tested with linear mixed models for each study. Subsequently, the interaction terms were pooled. The influence of study and intervention characteristics on the effectiveness of workplace health promotion programmes was evaluated using meta-regression analyses. Compared with control conditions, workplace health promotion programmes overall showed a statistically non-significant 0.12 kg/m2 (95% CI: −0.01, 0.25) decrease in BMI, which did not differ across SEP. Interventions evaluated within randomized controlled trials, agentic interventions, those that focused on high-risk groups, included a counselling component, consisted of more than five sessions, or were offered at the individual level did statistically significantly reduce BMI. No evidence was found for intervention-generated SEP inequalities.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13101
JournalObesity Reviews
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020

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