Open Access Open Badges Research article

The Worksite Health Promotion Capacity Instrument (WHPCI): development, validation and approaches for determining companies' levels of health promotion capacity

Julia Jung1*, Anika Nitzsche1, Melanie Neumann2, Markus Wirtz3, Christoph Kowalski1, Jürgen Wasem4, Brigitte Stieler-Lorenz5 and Holger Pfaff1

Author Affiliations

1 Institute for Medical Sociology, Health Services Research and Rehabilitation Science (IMVR), Faculty of Human Sciences and Medical Faculty, University of Cologne & Centre for Health Services Research Cologne (ZVFK), Cologne, Germany

2 Medical Department of the University of Witten/Herdecke, Integrated Curriculum for Anthroposophic Medicine (ICURAM), Herdecke, Germany

3 Institute for Psychology, University of Education Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

4 Chair of Medical Management; University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

5 Core Business Development GmbH, Berlin, Germany

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BMC Public Health 2010, 10:550  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-550

Published: 13 September 2010



The Worksite Health Promotion Capacity Instrument (WHPCI) was developed to assess two key factors for effective worksite health promotion: collective willingness and the systematic implementation of health promotion activities in companies. This study evaluates the diagnostic qualities of the WHPCI based on its subscales Health Promotion Willingness and Health Promotion Management, which can be used to place companies into four different categories based on their level of health promotion capacity.


Psychometric evaluation was conducted using exploratory factor and reliability analyses with data taken from a random sample of managers from n = 522 German information and communication technology (ICT) companies. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analyses were conducted to determine further diagnostic qualities of the instrument and to establish the cut-off scores used to determine each company's level of health promotion capacity.


The instrument's subscales, Health Promotion Willingness and Health Promotion Management, are based on one-dimensional constructs, each with very good reliability (Cronbach's alpha = 0.83/0.91). ROC analyses demonstrated satisfactory diagnostic accuracy with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.76 (SE = 0.021; 95% CI 0.72-0.80) for the Health Promotion Willingness scale and 0.81 (SE = 0.021; 95% CI 0.77-0.86) for the Health Promotion Management scale. A cut-off score with good sensitivity (71%/76%) and specificity (69%/75%) was determined for each scale. Both scales were found to have good predictive power and exhibited good efficiency.


Our findings indicate preliminary evidence for the validity and reliability of both subscales of the WHPCI. The goodness of each cut-off score suggests that the scales are appropriate for determining companies' levels of health promotion capacity. Support in implementing (systematic) worksite health promotion can then be tailored to each company's needs based on their current capacity level.