CALGARY and MONTREAL, June 12, 2019 /CNW/ - While Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) have been used in the workplace to maintain or improve employee productivity since the early 1980s, studies have only been correlational in nature due to the absence of control groups, making it difficult to establish a causal link between any observed improvements and use of service.
The Impact of a Canadian EAP on Mental Health and Workplace Functioning: Findings from a Prospective Quasi-Experimental Study, published online today in the Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, investigated the causal impacts of a Canadian external EAP on mental health, workplace functioning and life satisfaction.
"To our knowledge, this is the first quasi-experimental study incorporating a control group conducted with an external EAP," said Dr. Marc Milot, research psychologist and consultant at Workreach Solutions (APAS Laboratory Inc.). "By developing and deploying a research approach approximating a randomized controlled trial, the study findings provided evidence in support of a causal link between use of the Arete® HR Inc. EAP and a number of positive clinical and workplace outcomes."
Study results summary:
- At six months follow-up, Arete EAP users demonstrated significantly reduced psychological distress, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to the control group of non-EAP users.
- Arete EAP users had significantly reduced work presenteeism and work distress, and increased work engagement.
- Arete EAP users reported greater life satisfaction at follow-up relative to non-EAP users
- Improvements in mental health explained the positive impacts of the Arete EAP on workplace functioning.
"Considering the significant impact negative mental health conditions have on employees and their performance, we felt that it was extremely important to have our Arete EAP services independently evaluated in the context of clinical and workplace outcomes," said Allan Stordy, President and CEO of Arete HR Inc. "We are tremendously pleased that the counselling and support we provide through masters and doctoral level affiliate therapists has been proven to improve the mental health of Canadian workers, including those struggling under the weight of anxiety and depression."
Previous independent research using Arete HR data linked the use of EAPs with cost savings for employers and the publicly funded health care system and explored whether the problem resolution achieved by the employee accessing their EAP is reflected in a reduction in disability claims, prescription medication and paramedical use. Arete HR will continue to fund evidence-based research and analysis to better understand the impact of EAPs - to both employees and employers - contributing to the growing body of research on the value of EAPs.
- This was a quasi-experimental prospective evaluation investigating the impacts of a Canadian EAP on mental health, workplace functioning and life satisfaction
- Participants were Canadian employees working at different organizations across the country
- Outcomes were compared between groups of EAP (n=152) and non-EAP users (n=152) users matched on numerous baseline variables including demographic, occupational, mental health, workplace functioning and other characteristics and measures
- EAP users had access to up to 12 counselling hours per year; non-EAP users did not access such counselling services
- Follow-up outcome measurement occurred six months after use of the EAP
To access the full study: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15555240.2019.1609978
About Arete® HR Inc.
Arete HR Inc. improves the well-being of Canadians through excellent employee/member, business and management assistance programs. All Arete programs offer evidence-based solutions built on independent research results – a differentiator in the mental health/wellness assistance program marketplace.
Services for individuals include psychosocial counselling for a wide range of personal issues, legal and financial guidance, plus nutritional, childcare and eldercare support.
Support for insurers, corporations, organizations, associations and unions includes strategies for disability prevention, a dedicated curated business support resources website, plus business legal, financial and HR guidance.
About Workreach Solutions
Workreach Solutions (APAS Laboratory Inc.) helps workplace and mental health stakeholders (industry, service providers, employers, and other organizations) generate and implement evidence-based knowledge. Advanced EAP outcome measurement is one of their specialization areas.
SOURCE Arete Human Resources Inc.
For further information: For more information on the study outcomes or to schedule an interview opportunity, contact: Dara Willis Communications, mobile: 416-836-9272, email: [email protected]; Allan Stordy, Arete HR Inc., 1-888-255-5196 x 222, email: [email protected]