Original Research

Cost and consequence analysis of the Healthy Choices at Work programme to prevent non-communicable diseases in a commercial power plant, South Africa

Darcelle D. Schouw, Robert Mash
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2217 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2217 | © 2020 Darcelle D. Schouw, Robert Mash | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 August 2019 | Published: 22 June 2020

About the author(s)

Darcelle D. Schouw, Department of Family and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa
Robert Mash, Department of Family and Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The workplace is an ideal setting for the implementation of a health promotion programmes to prevent non-communicable diseases (NCD). There are limited resources assigned to workplace health promotion programmes in low-and middle-income countries (LMIC).

Aim: This study aimed to conduct a cost and consequence analysis of the Healthy Choices at Work programme.

Setting: This study was conducted at a commercial power plant in South Africa.

Methods: Incremental costs were obtained for the activities of the Healthy Choices at Work programme over a two-year period. A total of 156 employees were evaluated in the intervention, although the effect was experienced by all employees. An annual health risk factor assessment at baseline and follow up evaluated the consequences of the programme.

Results: The total incremental costs over the two-year period accumulated to $4015 for 1743 employees. The cost per employee on an annual basis was $1.15 and was associated with a −10.2mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure, −3.87mmHg in diastolic blood pressure, −0.45mmol/l in total cholesterol and significant improvement in harmful alcohol use, fruit and vegetable intake and physical inactivity (p < 0.001). There was no correlation between sickness absenteeism and risk factors for NCDs.

Conclusion: The cost to implement the multicomponent HCW programme was low with significant beneficial consequences in transforming the workplace environment and reducing risks factors for NCDs. Findings of this study will be useful for small, medium and large organisations, the national department of health, and similar settings in LMICs.


Keywords

cost and consequence; incremental costs; risk factors; prevention; NCDs; workplace; LMIC

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