Socioeconomic inequalities in reach, compliance and effectiveness of lifestyle interventions among workers: Protocol for an individual participant data meta-analysis and equity-specific reanalysis

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

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Introduction: Obesity and unhealthy behaviour are more prevalent among workers with a low compared with a high socioeconomic position (SEP), and thus contribute to socioeconomic health inequalities. The occupational setting is considered an important setting to address unhealthy behaviours due to the possibility to efficiently reach a large group of adults through worksite health promotion. This paper describes the rationale and design for an individual participant data (IPD) meta-analysis and a socioeconomic equity-specific reanalysis aiming to: (1) investigate socioeconomic differences in the effectiveness of interventions aimed at promoting healthy behaviour and preventing obesity, (2) examine socioeconomic differences in reach and compliance and (3) to investigate underlying factors affecting possible socioeconomic differences. Methods and analysis: A systematic search was conducted in electronic databases including Embase, Medline Ovid, Web of Science, Cochrane Central and Google Scholar as well as in grey literature and trial registries. Two researchers have independently selected a total of 34 relevant studies (from 88 articles). Responsible researchers of these eligible studies were asked to provide their study data and an assessment of the methodological criteria was done. The data of the intervention studies will be pooled for the IPD meta-analysis, whereas the socioeconomic equity-specific reanalysis will focus on each study separately, stratified for SEP. Both methods will be conducted to investigate socioeconomic differences in effectiveness, reach and compliance (research aims 1 and 2). For research aim 3, different factors, such as population characteristics, organisational work environment and intervention characteristics, will be investigated as possible moderators in the associations between SEP and effectiveness, reach and compliance. Ethics and dissemination: The Medical Ethical Committee of Erasmus MC declared that the Medical Research Involving Human Subjects Act does not apply to the meta-analyses. The findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and (inter)national conference presentations.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere025463
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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