Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Public Health and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Study protocol

The (cost-)effectiveness of an individually tailored long-term worksite health promotion programme on physical activity and nutrition: design of a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial

Suzan JW Robroek1, Folef J Bredt2 and Alex Burdorf1*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands

2 LifeGuard Inc., PO Box 1366, 3500 BJ Utrecht, The Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Public Health 2007, 7:259  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-259

Published: 21 September 2007

Abstract

Background

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of disability and mortality in most Western countries. The prevalence of several risk factors, most notably low physical activity and poor nutrition, is very high. Therefore, lifestyle behaviour changes are of great importance. The worksite offers an efficient structure to reach large groups and to make use of a natural social network. This study investigates a worksite health promotion programme with individually tailored advice in physical activity and nutrition and individual counselling to increase compliance with lifestyle recommendations and sustainability of a healthy lifestyle.

Methods/Design

The study is a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial with the worksite as the unit of randomisation. All workers will receive a standard worksite health promotion program. Additionally, the intervention group will receive access to an individual Health Portal consisting of four critical features: a computer-tailored advice, a monitoring function, a personal coach, and opportunities to contact professionals at request. Participants are employees working for companies in the Netherlands, being literate enough to read and understand simple Internet-based messages in the Dutch language.

A questionnaire to assess primary outcomes (compliance with national recommendations on physical activity and on fruit and vegetable intake) will take place at baseline and after 12 and 24 months. This questionnaire also assesses secondary outcomes including fat intake, self-efficacy and self-perceived barriers on physical activity and fruit and vegetable intake. Other secondary outcomes, including a cardiovascular risk profile and physical fitness, will be measured at baseline and after 24 months.

Apart from the effect evaluation, a process evaluation will be carried out to gain insight into participation and adherence to the worksite health promotion programme. A cost-effectiveness analysis and sensitivity analysis will be carried out as well.

Discussion

The unique combination of features makes the individually tailored worksite health promotion programme a promising tool for health promotion. It is hypothesized that the Health Portal's features will counteract loss to follow-up, and will increase compliance with the lifestyle recommendations and sustainability of a healthy lifestyle.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN52854353.