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Issue 175 - 30 March 2011

Articles on Employee Health and Wellness

1. Is your employees' BMI your business?
By Nelson, Jacqueline. Canadian Business, 9/27/2010, Vol. 83 Issue 15: p98
The article explores the challenges to and importance of implementing employee fitness initiatives. In China, Beijing's mandatory calisthenics program was reinstated in response to the growing number of Chinese adults who are obese. According to Wisconsin-based Serigraph, employers have an ethical obligation to introduce physical activity among their sedentary staff. However, companies face the challenge of balancing invasion of privacy and being helpful.

2. Navigating the Expanding WELLNESS INDUSTRY.
By Wells, Susan J. HR Magazine, Mar 2011, Vol. 56 Issue 3: p45-50
The article discusses factors that are suggested to be considered by companies when developing wellness programs for their employees. According to Barry Hall, global wellness research leader at Buck Consultants LLC, the growth of the wellness industry is fueled by employer demand. "The American Journal of Health Promotion" editor-in-chief Michael O'Donnell, notes that employers show confidence in the ability of wellness programs to moderate medical cost increases. INSET: Investing in Wellness: How Much?.

3. Is employee well-being on your 2011 priority list?
By Roberts, Beth. New Hampshire Business Review, 2/25/2011, Vol. 33 Issue 4: p27
The article offers tips on how to improve employees' well-being. It encourages businesspeople to make a commitment to a health improvement strategy and advises them to take advantage of high-technology resources. It mentions the 2007/2008 survey entitled "Stay at Work" conducted by National Business Group on Health/Watson Wyatt in the U.S. which discovers that an effective program lowers sick leave, short-term and long-term disability, and general health coverage

4. Hospital role models for healthy living
AHA News, 2/7/2011, Vol. 47 Issue 3: p5
This article discusses a report from the American Hospital Association (AHA) that urges hospitals in the U.S. to make wellness part of the health care workforce culture

5. Survey: U.S. businesses spend more on wellness programs, but most don't measure results
Business Journal (Central New York), 2/4/2011, Vol. 25 Issue 5: p9
The article presents information on a survey titled "Working Well: A Global Survey of Health Promotion and Workplace Wellness Strategies," commissioned by Buck Consultants LLC, according to which only 37 percent of the U.S. employers measured effectiveness of their employee-wellness programs in 2010

Articles on Sleep Deprivation

6. Personality and Reaction Time after Sleep Deprivation
By Carlozzi, Noelle al. Current Psychology, Mar 2010, Vol. 29 Issue 1: p24-33
The relationship between reaction time and both state and trait personality variables was investigated in 37 participants after 30 h of sleep deprivation. Regression analyses suggested that endorsement of greater Novelty Seeking, anger/hostility, and depression/dejection, and less confusion, was associated with greater reaction time declines on one Multi-Attribute Task Battery index after sleep deprivation. Further, greater Novelty Seeking and depression/dejection, and less vigor/activity, was associated with greater reaction time declines after sleep deprivation on another Multi-Attribute Task Battery index. Additional correlational analyses indicated that better reaction times were associated with greater Novelty Seeking and lower anger/hostility prior to sleep deprivation, and less confusion/bewilderment following sleep deprivation. Findings suggest that both state and trait personality variables are associated with reaction time performance following sleep deprivation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

7. Sleep deprivation impairs cAMP signalling in the hippocampus
By Vecsey, Christopher al. Nature, 10/22/2009, Vol. 461 Issue 7267: p1122-1125
Millions of people regularly obtain insufficient sleep. Given the effect of sleep deprivation on our lives, understanding the cellular and molecular pathways affected by sleep deprivation is clearly of social and clinical importance. One of the major effects of sleep deprivation on the brain is to produce memory deficits in learning models that are dependent on the hippocampus. Here we have identified a molecular mechanism by which brief sleep deprivation alters hippocampal function. Sleep deprivation selectively impaired 3', 5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP)- and protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity in the mouse hippocampus, reduced cAMP signalling, and increased activity and protein levels of phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4), an enzyme that degrades cAMP. Treatment of mice with phosphodiesterase inhibitors rescued the sleep-deprivation-induced deficits in cAMP signalling, synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent memory. These findings demonstrate that brief sleep deprivation disrupts hippocampal function by interfering with cAMP signalling through increased PDE4 activity. Thus, drugs that enhance cAMP signalling may provide a new therapeutic approach to counteract the cognitive effects of sleep deprivation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

8. And to All a Good Night: How Sleep Deprivation May Lead to Chronic Disease
Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, Oct 2004, Vol. 22 Issue 8, Following p8-11
Discusses the relation between sleep deprivation and the occurrence of chronic diseases. Information on the sleeping habits and cardiac problems of women; Possible connection between sleep deprivation and hormone-mediated conditions; Benefits of getting enough sleep for the performance of the immune system. INSET: To Sleep, Perchance to Dream (During the REM Stage)

Article on Stress Management

9. Employees' Perception of Organizational Change: The Mediating Effects of Stress Management Strategies
By Ming-Chu Yu. Public Personnel Management, Spring 2009, Vol. 38 Issue 1: p17-32
This study explores employees' perception of organizational change and how those perceptions are shaped by trust and stress management strategies. Four hundred and five analyzable surveys were received from employees of four Taiwanese governmental departments undergoing change. These surveys were conducted within the Ministry of National Defense, the Coast Guard Administration, the National Police Agency, and the National Fire Agency. Results showed that organizational change had a significant negative influence on employees' trust and job involvement. However, stress management strategies and an understanding of organizational change can positively influence employees' organizational identification and |oh Involvement. As a result, it is suggested that stress management workshops be instituted within an organization undergoing change in order to provide strategies for stress relief and to Improve employees' organizational identification and job involvement. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

By Tyler, Kathryn. HR Magazine, Sep 2006, Vol. 51 Issue 9: p78-83
This article offers advice on reducing employee stress. The struggle to balance work and family is merely one of the many stressors that employees face and that companies are trying to help them manage. The upside for employers of such stress reduction efforts is employees wire arc healthier, more creative and more productive. It is crucial to determine at the outset what employees perceive as the root causes of their stress before jumping in with a stress management program.

11. Recent Studies on Stress Management-Related Treatments for Migraine
By Becker, Werner J. & Sauro, Khara M. Headache: The Journal of Head & Face Pain, Oct 2009, Vol. 49 Issue 9: p1387-1390
This section presents commentaries for abstracts on migraine. The efficacy of multidisciplinary migraine management is cited in "Effectiveness of Multidisciplinary Intervention in the Treatment of Migraine: A Randomized Clinical Trial." "A Controlled Study of Minimal-Contact Thermal Biofeedback Treatment in Children With Migraine," cited stress management training as helpful. The need for studies on the impact of aerobic exercise is noted in "Aerobic Exercise With Relaxation: Influence on Pain and Psychological Well-Being in Female Migraine Patients."

12. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Stress Management in Healthy People: A Review and Meta-Analysis
By Chiesa, Alberto; Serretti, Alessandro. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, May 2009, Vol. 15 Issue 5: p593-600
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is a clinically standardized meditation that has shown consistent efficacy for many mental and physical disorders. Less attention has been given to the possible benefits that it may have in healthy subjects. The aim of the present review and meta-analysis is to better investigate current evidence about the efficacy of MBSR in healthy subjects, with a particular focus on its benefits for stress reduction.
Materials and methods: A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE (PubMed), the ISI Web of Knowledge, the Cochrane database, and the references of retrieved articles. The search included articles written in English published prior to September 2008, and identified ten, mainly low-quality, studies. Cohen's d effect size between meditators and controls on stress reduction and spirituality enhancement values were calculated. Results: MBSR showed a nonspecific effect on stress reduction in comparison to an inactive control, both in reducing stress and in enhancing spirituality values, and a possible specific effect compared to an intervention designed to be structurally equivalent to the meditation program. A direct comparison study between MBSR and standard relaxation training found that both treatments were equally able to reduce stress. Furthermore, MBSR was able to reduce ruminative thinking and trait anxiety, as well as to increase empathy and self-compassion.
Conclusions: MBSR is able to reduce stress levels in healthy people. However, important limitations of the included studies as well as the paucity of evidence about possible specific effects of MBSR in comparison to other nonspecific treatments underline the necessity of further research. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR

13. The development of five scales to measure employees' appraisals of organizational-level stress management interventions
By Randall, Raymond et al. Work & Stress, Jan-Mar 2009, Vol. 23 Issue 1:; p1-23
Organizations and researchers often encounter difficulties when evaluating organizational-level stress management interventions. When interventions fail, often it is unclear whether the intervention itself was ineffective, or whether problems with implementation processes were to blame. In this paper we describe the development of questionnaire items that allow employees to report on their appraisals of aspects of intervention process issues that are frequently thought to be related to intervention outcomes. The study was carried out as part of the evaluation of a teamworking intervention implemented in the elderly care sector in Denmark. Using a combination of information gathered from published intervention research and qualitative data collected from participants involved in an intervention, questionnaire items were developed and their sensitivity, reliability, and validity were tested. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed five independent factors: line manager attitudes and actions, exposure to components of the intended intervention, employee involvement, employee readiness, and intervention history. They all showed significant correlations with post-intervention outcomes (job satisfaction, well-being, and self-efficacy). Line manager attitudes and actions showed particularly strong and unique relationships with outcome measures. We refer to this new group of scales for evaluating employees' appraisals of an intervention as the Intervention Process Measure (IPM). Our findings indicate that such a measure has the potential to improve the evaluation of interventions. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

14. Stress Management Versus Lifestyle Modification on Systolic Hypertension and Medication Elimination: A Randomized Trial
By Dusek, Jeffery A. et al. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, Mar 2008, Vol. 14 Issue 2: p129-138
Isolated systolic hypertension is common in the elderly, but decreasing systolic blood pressure (SBP) without lowering diastolic blood pressure (DBP) remains a therapeutic challenge. Although stress management training, in particular eliciting the relaxation response, reduces essential hypertension its efficacy in treating isolated systolic hypertension has not been evaluated. We conducted a double-blind, randomized trial comparing 8 weeks of stress management, specifically relaxation response training (61 patients), versus lifestyle modification (control, 61 patients). Inclusion criteria were 55 years, SBP 140159 mm Hg, DBP <90 mm Hg, and at least two antihypertensive medications. The primary outcome measure was change in SBP after 8 weeks. Patients who achieved SBP <140 mm Hg and 5 mm Hg reduction in SBP were eligible for 8 additional weeks of training with supervised medication elimination. SBP decreased 9.4 (standard deviation [SD] 11.4) and 8.8 (SD 13.0) mm Hg in relaxation response and control groups, respectively (both ps < 0.0001) without group difference ( p 0.75). DBP decreased 1.5 (SD 6.2) and 2.4 (SD 6.9) mm Hg ( p 0.05 and 0.01, respectively) without group difference ( p 0.48). Forty-four (44) in the relaxation response group and 36 in the control group were eligible for supervised antihypertensive medication elimination. After controlling for differences in characteristics at the start of medication elimination, patients in the relaxation response group were more likely to successfully eliminate an antihypertensive medication (odds ratio 4.3, 95 confidence interval 1.215.9, p 0.03). Although both groups had similar reductions in SBP, significantly more participants in the relaxation response group eliminated an antihypertensive medication while maintaining adequate blood pressure control. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

15. Effect of web-based assertion training for stress management of Japanese nurses
By YAMAGISHI, MANAHO et al. Journal of Nursing Management, Sep 2007, Vol. 15 Issue 6: p603-607
Aim and Background
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of web-based assertion training programmes for Japanese hospital nurses based on their assertion knowledge, attitude and behaviour, job stress and depression. Job stress has been reported to be high among Japanese hospital nurses, and it is thought that assertion, one type of communication skill, could help nurses to better manage their job stress.
Method: Twenty-five nurses from an urban tertiary hospital in western Japan completed the 70-minute assertion programme during 3 weeks. The changes between pretraining and post-training and between pretraining and 1 month after the training were tested.
Result: Results showed that assertion knowledge and voluntary behaviour in assertive behaviour had increased at post-training and remained higher a month later. With regard to job stress, mental workload decreased.
Conclusion: The results show the effects of web-based assertion training on assertion skills and stress management for Japanese hospital nurses. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

16. The Impact of Stress Management on Nurse Productivity and Retention
By Milliken, Tammi F. et al. Nursing Economic$, Jul/Aug 2007, Vol. 25 Issue 4: p203-210
This article discusses various issues related to the impact of stress management on nurse productivity and retention. It is stated that employee stress and burnout generally lead to health-related problems. There are several ways of stress management. It is highlighted that the best and most effective method of stress management sometimes begin with simple recognition and committed efforts by the nurse executive that could result in lesser burnout and attrition of employees.

Journal - Table of Contents

17. From Journal of Infection Prevention, Vol. 12, March 2011
17A. Development of the competency framework: our journey
17B. Use of alcohol hand rub (AHR) at ward entrances and use of soap and AHR by patients and visitors: a study in 27 wards in nine acute NHS trusts
17C. Efficacy of cling film for barrier protection in a dental clinical environment: short communication
17D. Outcome competences for practitioners in infection prevention and control: Infection Prevention Society and Competency Steering Group 


18. CENNZ Hands on Emergency Nurses Forum
Date: 20 August 2011
Venue: Hutt Hospital, Lower Hutt

19. 12th Annual Medical Law Conference
Conference 1: Examining and understanding the ethical and legal dilemmas involved in patient rights and practitioner responsibilities
Date: 18 & 19 April 2011
Venue: Duxton Hotel, Wellington
More information:

20. 12th Annual Medical Law Conference
Conference 2:
Making sense of death and dying
A vital understanding of the medical, ethical and cultural issues that surround end of life care
Date: 20 April 2011
Venue: Duxton Hotel, Wellington
More information:

21. Implementing Effective Health Audits
Ensuring quality and compliance in the health sector
Date: 18 & 19 April 2011
Venue: Sebel Hotel, Auckland
More information:

22. Developing a clinical Governance Framework for Healthcare Providers
Increase quality and performance of healthcare through better governance
Date: 5 & 6 May 2011
Venue: Sebel Hotel, Auckland
More information:

News - National

23. Unfair changes come at bad time for many workers
Stuff - BUSINESS FORUM, HELEN KELLY - 28 March 2011
This Friday is April 1 and apart from any deceptions and practical jokes that occur on the day, there are major changes in employment law coming into effect.
These are difficult times. And tough times cannot always be avoided. We know this from the terrible impact of the earthquakes in Canterbury. But these law changes are unnecessary, and unfair. That makes things worse for workers when times are already tough.
The view I am hearing from workers is that, apart from their concern and support for people in Canterbury, the number one issue is the cost of living, closely followed by job security.
It is no comfort to see that the Reserve Bank has raised its estimates of the inflation increase to 5.4 per cent for the year to June.

24. Delays add to bowel cancer patients' waiting time
By Martin Johnston
NZ Herald - Monday Mar 28, 2011
New Zealand has no specific standard for the timeliness of bowel cancer treatment. Photo / Getty ImagesNearly one-third of patients with bowel cancer wait too long for treatment in Auckland, often because of delays in diagnostic tests, a study has found.
The study, published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, checked the records of 1128 patients treated in public or private hospitals in the region in 2001 and 2005. The median time from initial referral to first treatment was 35 days.

25. Editorial: Parental leave proposal offers better balance
The previous Government was much taken with the economic benefit of getting and keeping more women in work. It saw improved incentives for parents to use childcare as being a key means of furthering this ambition. There was a nod also towards what then Prime Minister Helen Clark described as "good outcomes" for children, notably through a planned increase in paid parental leave. This was never enacted, however. By omission, even if not intention, children's wellbeing played second fiddle to boosting female participation in the workforce. Not before time, a more reasonable balance is now being mooted.
NZ Herald- Monday Mar 28, 2011

26. Hospital cuts built on 'bogus review'
The Press - DEBBIE JAMIESON 28/03/2011
A Southern District Health Board decision to cut the number of doctors at Lakes District Hospital was based on a review that does not exist, it has been revealed. The board has said it wants to reduce senior doctor numbers from eight to six, based on a 2009 review undertaken by former chief medical officer of Southland Pim Allen. Southern District Health Board chief executive Brian Rousseau said at the time that the review concluded that the "majority of attendances at the hospital could have been safely dealt with in primary care".

27. Project aims for trimmer DHB
Waikato Times - 28 March 2011
Waikato District Health Board is about to launch a large-scale belt tightening project in response to "frightening messages" about dwindling government spending. The DHB's chief financial officer, Maureen Chrystall, said the time had come to look at the entire organisation in an attempt to reduce waste and maximise the effectiveness of health dollars. "There has been a frightening message about health dollars from the Government in recent weeks and as an organisation we must look at how to best spend the limited dollars we get," Mrs Chrystall told the Health Waikato Advisory Committee this week

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