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Comment & Response
December 21, 2020

Employee Wellness Programs—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Gies College of Business, University of Illinois, Champaign
  • 2National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • 3The Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
JAMA Intern Med. 2021;181(2):292-293. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.5746

In Reply We conducted a randomized clinical trial (RCT)1 of the iThrive wellness program, which was part of the Illinois Workplace Wellness Study and was modeled on typical employee wellness programs that follow best practices. The program ran for 2 years, a time horizon over which prior studies have argued effects can emerge.2 Yet after 24 months, biometrics, medical diagnoses, and medical use did not significantly differ between the treatment and control groups.1 Another evaluation of the same RCT found no significant associations with medical spending, productivity, health behaviors, or self-reported health after 30 months.2 These findings align with those of another recent and large RCT of workplace wellness.3

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