Effectiveness of total worker health interventions

W. Kent Anger, Diane L. Elliot, Todd Bodner, Ryan Olson, Diane S. Rohlman, Donald M. Truxillo, Kerry S. Kuehl, Leslie B. Hammer, Dede Montgomery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Scopus citations


Total Worker Health (TWH) was introduced and the term was trademarked in 2011 by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to formally signal the expansion of traditional occupational safety and health (OSH) to include wellness and well-being. We searched PubMed, PsycInfo, and other databases using keywords TWH, health promotion, health protection, and variants for articles meeting the criteria of (a) employing both occupational safety and/or health (OSH, or health protection) and wellness and/or well-being (health promotion, or HP) in the same intervention study, and (b) reporting both OSH and HP outcomes. Only 17 published studies met these criteria. All but 1 of the 17 TWH interventions improved risk factors for injuries and/or chronic illnesses, and 4 improved 10 or more risk factors. Several TWH interventions reported sustained improvements for over a year, although only 1 is readily available for dissemination. These results suggest that TWH interventions that address both injuries and chronic diseases can improve workforce health effectively and more rapidly than the alternative of separately employing more narrowly focused programs to change the same outcomes in serial fashion. These 17 articles provide useful examples of how TWH interventions can be structured. The promise of simultaneous improvements in safety, health, and well-being leads to the call to pursue TWH research to identify and disseminate best practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-247
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Occupational Health Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Health promotion
  • Health protection
  • Intervention
  • Safety
  • TWH
  • Total worker health
  • Wellness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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