SMART Life (Testing the Effects of the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program Among Lower-Wage Workers)

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project brief

The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program will extend its scope to research and test the effectiveness of the program among younger, lower-wage populations with the goal of improving employee health, work attendance, and productivity. 

Topic area(s): Health Disparities

PURPOSE

The purpose of the proposed research is to extend the CDSMP to lower-wage populations aged 40-64 years by partnering with public libraries and employment support networks in select North Carolina counties.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Over time, poor disease management and symptom control impairs role functioning in key life domains, such as employment.  These health-related limitations manifest in employees’ inability to attend and be productive at work.  Health-related presenteeism and absenteeism cost U.S. employers $1,685 per employee, per year, or $225.8 billion annually.   Across a range of chronic conditions, lower-wage workers bear the brunt of the chronic disease burden and account for the greatest productivity and health care system costs, given they have a higher disease prevalence, poorer symptom control, and more significant health-related work limitations.  The Chronic Disease Self-Management Program (CDSMP) was originally developed for older adult populations, and has been primarily focused on delivering the program to older adults in community settings.  It has been shown to yield long-term positive health-related outcomes across a range of chronic disease conditions in older adult populations, which would likely have a similar effect on slightly younger, lower-wage workers, resulting in positive employment outcomes, as well. 

The purpose of the proposed research is to extend the CDSMP to lower-wage populations aged 40-64 years by partnering with public libraries and employment support networks in select North Carolina counties.  The specific aims of this research are to test the effects of the CDSMP on employment and health outcomes among lower-wage working adults 40-64 years of age at 6 and 12 months from baseline, and explore the extent to which they are modified by select sociodemographic, chronic condition, and work-related factors; conduct an economic evaluation of the CDSMP for employers, the health care system, and state governments;  and assess factors associated with the reach, effectiveness, adoption, and implementation of the CDSMP among lower-wage workers using social marketing strategies designed to overcome program-engagement and participation challenges that exist in this population.  If findings suggest improved outcomes for this population, a toolkit will be developed that can be used by stakeholders to extend the CDSMP to other vulnerable populations. 

FUNDING

Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Dates of Funding:

KEY CONTACTS

Principle Investigator – Shawn Kneipp

E-mail – skneipp@email.unc.edu