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Center to Promote Health in the New England Workplace (CPHNEW).

Punnett L
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U19-OH-008857, 2011 Nov; :1-971
The Center for the Promotion of Health in the New England Workplace (CPH-NEW) is a crossdisciplinary collaboration involving investigators from the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) and the University of Connecticut (UConn), along with numerous external partners. Research Project A, "Promoting Physical and Mental Health of Caregivers through Transdisciplinary Intervention (ProCare)," involved a major East Coast provider of nursing home and assisted living care. A safe resident handling program (SRHP) was shown to result in more handling device use and lower physical loading for nursing assistants, fewer back injury claims and good return on investment (ROI). Sites with 1) SRHP only were compared to those with 2) both SRHP and company-sponsored health promotion (HP) programs; and 3) SRHP plus a participatory HP program (PHP) facilitated by the investigators. Neither HP program resulted in measurable HP benefits but did enhance SRHP ROI; the PHP had higher employee engagement than company-sponsored HP. Research Project B, "Health improvement through Iraining and smployee Qontrol (HITEC)," compared separate, top-down HP and OHS interventions with an experimental program integrating the HP and OHS content, based in employee-led participatory "Design Teams." The sites were paired within sector (manufacturing and corrections) on the basis of intervention type. The manufacturing sites experienced dramatic downsizing during the project, preventing follow-up of subjects. In corrections, the Design Teams were so favorably received that both management and labor virtually abandoned the 'lop-down" approach. The Education, Translation, Communication and Dissemination project (C), "Stress@Work," qualitatively assessed knowledge and perceptions of health professionals regarding work-related stress and feasibility of interventions initiated by health professionals. Results informed the development of curriculum and on-line materials used in training sessions to increase practitioner awareness about a) the causal association between work-related stress and cardiovascular disease, and b) workplace interventions that emphasize primary prevention through improved work organization. Major dissemination activities partnered with the MA Heart and Stroke Partnership, the MA DPH 'Working on Wellness" program, and the MA/Rhode Island Chapter of the Employee Assistance Professionals Association. In Years 4-5, Project D, "A Research-to-Practice (R2P) Toolkit," developed and field-tested practical, participatory intervention tools for employers and health professionals, responding to needs identified within the research projects. The Center projects and Cross-Disciplinary Methods Teams (CDMT) interacted in a number of ways to enhance learning and R2P efforts. Both ProCare and HITEC identified a need for strategies to engage center administrators as allies in the work of the Design Teams, which led to development of several Toolkit tools. The Implementation CDMT sought generalizable approaches to achieving integration of OHS and HP, focusing on flexible design and continuous improvement, rather than assuming a single solution would fit all contexts. Thus CPH-NEW has developed an integrative and comprehensive approach to reduce workforce hazards and promote worker health, identifying the links between workplace culture and personal high-risk behaviors and supporting iterative adaptation and improvement of workplace interventions. CPH-NEW has also met key translational and effectiveness research goals by developing targeted methods and accessible assessment instruments, and by proposing a multidimensional productivity/business case approach.
Human-factors-engineering; Musculoskeletal-system; Humans; Health-care; Health-care-personnel; Nurses; Nursing; Worker-health; Physiological-effects; Physiological-stress; Mental-health; Total-Worker-Health; Health-surveys; Health-services; Psychological-effects; Pain-tolerance; Sleep-deprivation; Health-protection; Epidemiology; Work-capability; Back-injuries; Stress; Physical-capacity; Physical-fitness; Physiology; Training
Laura Punnett, Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, One University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854, USA
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Cooperative Agreement Report
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
Identifying No.
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Healthcare and Social Assistance
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
University of Massachusetts, Lowell
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division