Background: The health risk assessment (HRA) is a type of health promotion program frequently offered at the workplace. Insight into the underlying determinants of participation is needed to evaluate and implement these interventions. Objective: To analyze whether individual characteristics including demographics, health behavior, self-rated health, and work-related factors are associated with participation and nonparticipation in a Web-based HRA. Methods: Determinants of participation and nonparticipation were investigated in a cross-sectional study among individuals employed at five Dutch organizations. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to identify determinants of participation and nonparticipation in the HRA after controlling for organization and all other variables. Results: Of the 8431 employees who were invited, 31.9% (2686/8431) enrolled in the HRA. The online questionnaire was completed by 27.2% (1564/5745) of the nonparticipants. Determinants of participation were some periods of stress at home or work in the preceding year (OR 1.62, 95% CI 1.08-2.42), a decreasing number of weekdays on which at least 30 minutes were spent on moderate to vigorous physical activity (ORdayPA0.84, 95% CI 0.79-0.90), and increasing alcohol consumption. Determinants of nonparticipation were less-than-positive self-rated health (poor/very poor vs very good, OR 0.25, 95% CI 0.08-0.81) and tobacco use (at least weekly vs none, OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.46-0.90). Conclusions: This study showed that with regard to isolated health behaviors (insufficient physical activity, excess alcohol consumption, and stress), those who could benefit most from the HRA were more likely to participate. However, tobacco users and those who rated their overall health as less than positive were less likely to participate. A strong communication strategy with recruitment messages that take reasons for nonparticipation into account, could prove to be an essential tool for organizations trying to reach employees who are less likely to participate.

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Journal of Medical Internet Research
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Niessen, M., Laan, E., Robroek, S., Essink-Bot, M.-L., Peek, N., Kraaijenhagen, R., … Burdorf, A. (2013). Determinants of participation in a web-based health risk assessment and consequences for health promotion programs. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 15(8). doi:10.2196/jmir.2387