Promoting health of Swedish workers by complementary methods - example of a study design of a longitudinal randomized controlled intervention study

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Linda Handlin Jasmin Muller Anette Ekström


When designing, implementing, and evaluating a work site health promotion program, it is necessary to ensure that the program is evidence based. The present article aims to present in-depth information on the design of a longitudinal randomized controlled complementary intervention pilot study that follows the Consort recommendations, in order evaluate possible effects of a health promotive intervention in healthy workers.

Employees from four different workplaces were randomly assigned to one of the following groups: i) Massage and mental training (sitting in the armchair and receiving mechanical massage while listening to the mental training programs, n = 19), ii) Massage (sitting in the armchair and receiving mechanical massage only, n = 19), iii) Mental training (sitting in the armchair and listening to the mental training programs only, n = 19), iv) Pause (sitting in the armchair but not receiving mechanical massage or listening to the mental training programs, n = 19), v) Control (not sitting in the armchair at all, n = 17). The study lasted for eight weeks. Immediately before the randomization, after four weeks and after eight weeks the participants responded to statements from the Swedish Scale of Personality and had their heart rate, blood pressure and fingertip temperature measured.

Receiving mechanical massage and listening to mental training programs, either separately or in combination, during working hours had some positive effects on the employees’ own evaluation of their health, as well as their heart rate, blood pressure and fingertip temperature. However, the intervention need to be evaluated further.

Through a randomized controlled study design that follows the consort recommendations it can be possible to design, implement and evaluate a work site health promotion program, even for a pilot study. Special care should be taken when designing the study groups, especially with regard to homogeneity and sample size.

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HANDLIN, Linda; MULLER, Jasmin; EKSTRÖM, Anette. Promoting health of Swedish workers by complementary methods - example of a study design of a longitudinal randomized controlled intervention study. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 8, aug. 2017. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 31 mar. 2020.
Stress, Anxiety, Alternative, Complementary, Intervention, Physical Health, Psychosocial health, Heart rate, Blood pressure, Fingertip temperature, Working place
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