A Web-Based Cardiovascular Health Intervention for the Workplace

Period of Performance: 03/01/2008 - 02/28/2009


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

ISA Associates, Inc.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Cardiac disease is one of the most prevalent and disabling of all medical disorders. It is estimated that one in every three adults has some form of cardiovascular disease. Among the factors commonly implicated in the development of the disease are lifestyle-related behaviors such as diet, activity level, weight, and smoking habits. Tremendous attention has been placed on medical management and adherence to programs that emphasize reduction or elimination of risk factors. Despite public health 'calls to action' for greater prevention and intervention efforts, the health statistics related to these health behaviors indicate that there remains a great need for effective interventions. Many barriers exist in primary care settings for initiating attempts at assisting patients in this regard. Research indicates that workplace-based interventions show much promise for reaching a large percentage of adults and encouraging positive health behaviors. Worksites provide access to over 65 percent of the population aged 16 and over and can be excellent settings in which to implement strategies for reducing the prevalence and burden of obesity, inactivity, and other unhealthful habits. Accordingly, workplaces are beginning to implement a variety of interventions to address the problem of cardiovascular disease and are exploring innovative and cost-effective means for reducing cardiovascular risk. [Building on ISA's extensive experience in worksite web-based health interventions (including previously developed and tested web-based interventions), the proposed project will develop and test an innovative web-based program - i.e., science-based, media-rich, tailored, and highly interactive - designed to reduce cardiovascular risk among working adults. The project will also include the development of a toolkit for managers that is designed to foster the adoption of policies and practices that support the web-based intervention and related worksite improvements. Phase I will involve the development and feasibility testing of the prototype, along with specific milestones that must met before moving to Phase II. Phase II will involve the full development of the Heart Healthy program for workplaces, followed by a field test of the web-based programs, including a randomized control trial with a sample of employees. The General Motors Acceptance Corporation (GMAC), a company with whom ISA has tested previous health interventions, has enthusiastically agreed to serve as the site for both phases of the project.] The final program will be marketed to workplaces through concentrated efforts by ISA's Center for Workforce Health. Cardiovascular disease is the leading source of morbidity and mortality in the United States and with one of every five deaths attributed to a cardiac event, there exists a great need to find effective preventive tools. The outcome of this Fast Track project will be the development and test of a comprehensive, innovative, web- based cardiovascular risk reduction program for the workplace consisting of a self-guided tutorial for employees and a toolkit for managers. The effective development and test of this program could provide a mechanism for broad dissemination to workplaces and an ultimate decrease in cardiac-related morbidity and mortality.