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Evaluating employee assistance policy in an HMO-based alcoholism project.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Evaluation and program planning
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
3
Pages
183–194
Identifiers
PMID: 10277066
Source
Medline

Abstract

One aspect of successful employee assistance program (EAP) implementation is the adoption of a formal, written policy, reflecting company commitment to EAP guidelines and goals. This study of criteria predictive of such policy adoption was conducted at the occupational alcoholism project of a New England health maintenance organization (HMO). Data on nearly 400 organizations contacted by occupational program consultants (OPCs) over a 20-month period were collected by questionnaire and interview. One third of these organizations adopted employee assistance policies and set about establishing formal programs. Stepwise multiple regression is the principal method used to pinpoint the correlates of policy adoption. Two of the most important of these are the attitudes of contact persons within the organization toward alcoholism and employee assistance programs, particularly their admission of alcohol problems within their social networks; and the consultants' persistence and marketing skills. The adopting organizations also had reputations for being progressive, and actively concerned about employee welfare; they tended to be large, their executives autonomous, and their union membership rates high. Inhibiting policy acceptance were fears that a written policy would jeopardize the reputation and image of the organization, and that an employee assistance program would remove internal control of personal procedures. The adequacy of the evaluative data and methods are discussed, and recommendations are offered in the interests of streamlining the efforts of OPCs and of achieving greater penetration of targeted organizations.

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