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Open Access Study protocol

Design of a RCT evaluating the (cost-) effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention for male construction workers at risk for cardiovascular disease: The Health under Construction study

Iris F Groeneveld12, Karin I Proper12*, Allard J van der Beek12, Cor van Duivenbooden3 and Willem van Mechelen12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public and Occupational Health, EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Centre, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2 Body@Work, Research Centre Physical Activity, Work and Health, TNO-VUmc, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands

3 Stichting Arbouw, La Guardiaweg 4, 1043 DG Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:1  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-1

Published: 3 January 2008

Abstract

Background

Of all workers in Dutch construction industry, 20% has an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). A major risk factor for CVD risk is an unhealthy lifestyle. The aim of our study is to design a lifestyle intervention for construction workers with an elevated CVD risk, and to evaluate its (cost-) effectiveness.

Methods/Design

In a RCT, 692 participants will be randomised to either the control or the intervention group. The control group will receive usual care. For the intervention group, a lifestyle intervention has been designed based on interviews and current literature. The intervention will last 6 months and will comprise 3 face-to-face and 4 telephone contacts, consisting of individual counselling aimed at increasing daily physical activity (PA) and improving dietary behaviour, and/or smoking cessation. Counselling will take place at the Occupational Health Service (OHS), and will be done according to motivational interviewing (MI). Additional written information about healthy lifestyle will also be provided to those in the intervention group. At baseline, after 6 and after 12 months, measurements will take place. Primary outcome variables will be the lifestyle behaviours of concern, i.e. daily PA, dietary intake, and smoking status. Secondary outcome variables will be body mass index (BMI), systolic and diastolic blood pressure, total and HDL blood cholesterol, Hba1c and cardio-respiratory fitness (CRF). Sickness absenteeism and cost-effectiveness will be assessed as well. Multilevel analysis will be performed to compare all outcome measures between the intervention group and the control group.

Discussion

By improving lifestyle, CVD risk may be lowered, yielding benefits for both employee and employer. If proven effective, this lifestyle intervention will be implemented on a larger scale within the Occupational Health Services in construction industry.

Trial registration

Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN60545588