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Comment & Response
September 3, 2019

Workplace Wellness Programs and Health Outcomes—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA. 2019;322(9):893. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.9829

In Reply Dr Raymond and colleagues offer potential reasons that our randomized evaluation of a workplace wellness program1 did not find greater effects. They suggest that a higher participation rate, clinician involvement, larger incentives, and a longer follow-up might have produced more positive findings for the program.

We of course agree that a different kind of wellness program might have produced different results; there are limits to the external generalizability of any single study. Our goal was not to study the most intensive or highly incentivized program possible, but rather one that was fairly representative of typical programs, with common features and an on-site component. The optimal wellness program might look different, and future research assessing the effectiveness of different program features might prove fruitful. We also agree that effects may vary over time (potentially either accumulating or attenuating), and we are currently working on a follow-up study of this randomized clinical trial through 3 years of the wellness program.