Gordian Health Solutions, Inc., a leading national personal health coaching company, has released the results of new research showing that commonly held beliefs concerning the health status of employees enrolling in wellness education and counseling programs may not be accurate.

Employers™ conventional wisdom is often that healthier employees are more likely to self-select into employee health and wellness programs, but our research suggests otherwise, said Dr. Adam Long, vice president of research and informatics for Gordian.

The research shows that employees at higher risk for health problems are indeed signing up for health coaching programs at a higher rate than their healthier counterparts, a fact that should reassure employers who are questioning whether their programs are targeting and reaching the right individuals.

The study examined the health status of nearly 1.3 million employees, from more than 125 employers, who participated at differing levels in health and wellness programs. This national study was conducted by Gordian with assistance from Memphis-based Health and Performance Resources (HPR).

Examining prospective health risk assessments (PRAs) provided by HPR, as well as Gordian™s self-reported Personal Health Assessments (PHAs), the research shows that, on average, employees progressing further in the health program enrollment process have higher health risk levels.

This was true whether employee health status was measured in terms of life stressors, behavioral health problems, acute health conditions, or chronic health conditions. For example, compared to the total study population, Gordian™s health coaching program enrollees had PRA profiles that showed:

  • a 5 percent higher rate of acute conditions
  • an 11 percent higher rate of behavioral health problems
  • a 12 percent higher rate of chronic health conditions

These differences clearly suggest that employers™ perceptions of who is more likely to opt in to wellness programs are often unfounded, said Paul Russell, president of HPR.

Employees who completed a Personal Health Assessment also had higher prospective levels of risk than employees who did not. Furthermore, those employees with higher self-reported health risks were more likely to enroll in a Gordian health coaching program. For example, employees who enrolled reported a 15 percent higher risk of cholesterol problems, an 18 percent higher risk for hypertension, a 16 percent higher risk for back pain, and a 32 percent higher risk for osteoporosis than employees who completed a PHA but did not go on to enroll in a program.

Our findings suggest that Gordian members who can receive the greatest benefit from health coaching programs are, in fact, more likely to do just that, continued Long.

About Gordian Health Solutions, Inc.

Gordian Health Solutions is the nation™s leading personal health coaching company. Gordian is pioneering the next generation of individualized, interactive and integrated health solutions to reduce the demand and cost of healthcare and encourage healthier lifestyles. Gordian delivers personalized one-on-one health coaching, individually tailored websites and other media to help individuals achieve and maintain healthy lifestyles and to address chronic conditions. Gordian pioneered the health coaching industry and, with its 12 years of innovative industry leadership, is poised to advance a culture of wellness that will positively impact lives for years to come. For more information about Gordian, visit www.gordian-health.com.

About Health and Performance Resources

Health and Performance Resources (HPR) and its partners provide lifestyle-based health risk assessment and intervention planning processes to support organizations engaged in health and performance management (HPM) initiatives. HPR provides both prospective and retrospective assessments of health risk, health service utilization patterns, and organizational performance. Additional lifestyle-based assessments provided by HPR include: assessment of employment pools, expectations of employees and employee groups, and communication preferences of employees and employee groups. For additional information about Health and Performance Resources call 901-726-6808.

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