BASF SE in Ludwigshafen has approximately 36 000 employees who receive occupational medical support from the Corporate Health Management Department. As part of demography management health checks for early recognition of chronic diseases were introduced for all employees in 2011 in addition to obligatory occupational medical prevention. Regardless the risk potential at the workstation each employee has the opportunity to make use of a health check every three years. Depending on the diagnosis, a medical recommendation is given to visit an external consulting physician or to take part in health promoting activities offered within the company. A computerised invitation procedure similar to that used in cancer prevention makes sure that entitled employees use the health check regularly.
Methods The BASF health check includes an extensive laboratory test, various technical tests such as spirometry, ECG, audiometry and eye test. Work ability index, WAI, psychological stress, pre-existing conditions and the risk profile for diabetes (Find Risk questionnaire) and heart attacks (Procam score) are captured in a questionnaire. Module recommendations on the topics of ‘nutrition and exercise’, ‘daily strain and strain caused by stress’, ‘musculoskeletal disorders’ and ‘smoking cessation’ are given based on a stored algorithm. Furthermore, individual reports about the results are elaborated by the occupational health physicians. If severe conditions at an early stage are recognised, recommendations are given to visit a primary care physician.
Results From November 1, 2011 until December 31, 2014 18 140 employees made use of the offer of a health check (a participation rate of 45.3%). In accordance with the gender distribution within BASF 80.3% of the male employees and 19.7% of the female employees participated. The average age among the men was 45, and 39 among the women. 42% of industrial employees, 36% of employees under a collective agreement and 21% of employees not under a collective agreement participated. In recent diagnoses musculoskeletal conditions were leading. The BMI becomes higher with increasing age, showing 23.2% of employees older than 50 a value of over 30. Accordingly, in 20.4% of employees older than 50 a prediabetes with an HbA1C between 5.7% and 6.4% could be determined. The percentage of diabetics with an HbA1C value over or equal to 6.5% was at 4.3%. Module recommendations with respect to health promoting measures were given in 60% of the cases.
Discussion Almost 50% of the employees well accept health checks for early recognition of chronic and lifestyle conditions. The proportion of 30 to 60 year olds and the proportion of men were the highest. In comparison to external health checks especially industrial employees are reached, being newly diagnosed especially diabetes mellitus, hypertension and skin diseases. Due to the standardised examination procedure the psychological stress situation can be better assessed. 18% of the participants state that they have a medium WAI while 4% have a bad WAI. The health check was well accepted at BASF and can prospectively be well evaluated relating to its effectiveness.
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