Effectiveness Of Workplace Health Promotion In Protecting Against COVID Risk


health promotion at work
smart working
university workers

How to Cite

Tobia , L., Provvidenti , L., Mancinelli , V., Guerrini , L., Fiasca , F., & Fabiani , L. (2022). Effectiveness Of Workplace Health Promotion In Protecting Against COVID Risk. Journal of Advanced Health Care, 4(7). Retrieved from https://www.jahc.it/index.php/jahc/article/view/262


The SARS Cov 2 pandemic has caused both health and social and psychological problems on workers. Starting from
April 2020, the Italian National institute for workers’ insurance (INAIL) has developed a classification system for
companies in high, medium and low COVID risk on the basis of exposure, proximity and aggregation factors, in
view of the reopening of non-essential activities such as schools and Universities, classified at low -medium risk of
transmitting the Sars Cov 2 virus. In addition to the risk evaluation, each company had to develop a safety protocol
to prevent coronavirus infection for workers. The University of L’Aquila, in agreement with such regulations, set up
a COVID Committee, which including the Employer, RSPP (Responsible for the prevention and protection service),
(worker safety representatives) RLS and occupational physicians. Countermeasures to reduce Covid risk were developed, like the activation of remote lessons, teleworking, the reduction of the co-presence of workers in offices and
research laboratories, distancing, the use of protective masks and the spread of information about correct hygiene
Within health promotion activities already activated by the University for 5 years, the study aimed to investigate the
relationship between adherence to prevention measures and the perception of occupational risk and the adoption of
more prudent behaviors towards the virus.
The survey was conducted in the timeframe between July and December 2020, as part of the health promotion
program promoted by the University called “Ateneo in salute”. This project aimed to submit workers to measures
such as haematourinary tests for the dyslipidemic structure, Electrocardiogram, cardiological examination on
voluntary basis. The screening program included also the execution of a serological test for the antibody evaluation to
SARS Cov 2, the administration of a questionnaire additional to the one prepared for the “Ateneo in salute” project.
Main aim was to investigate the effect of measures such as the adoption of prudent behavior towards the virus and
perception of risk in addition to the health promotion already implemented. 314 workers joined to the study, including
teachers, administrative and technical staff (137 M and 177 F).
On the basis of the mean score (7.11 ± 2.26) attributed to the danger of COVID-19 infection, the sample was divided
into two groups compared with each other: medium-low score (1-7) vs high score (8- 10). The average age has
resulted to be higher in the group that attributes higher risk to COVID-19 (52.05 ± 10.98 vs 46.73 ± 11.26, p <0.001).
Those who attribute a high risk to COVID-19 infection underwent more serological testing (96.86% vs 90.97%, p
= 0.029) and report having always adopted prophylactic measures and used personal protective equipment more
frequently compared to those who attribute a medium-low risk to infection (93.08% vs 83.87%, p = 0.010). The risk
attributed to COVID-19 infection in the sample increases with age (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02 - 1.06, p = 0.001) and
decreases if there is a family history of diabetes (OR 0.53 , 95% CI 0.28 - 0.99, p = 0.049). Those who attribute a
higher risk (8-10), have a personal history of cancer (8.23% vs 3.36%, p = 0.069), hypertension (16.03% vs 9.40%,
p = 0.083) and by assumption of at least one drug for chronic disease (37.34% vs 29.53%, p = 0.147). Those with a
lower perception of risk (1-7), declare habitual consumption of alcoholic beverages (36.91% vs 26.75%, p = 0.056).
Age and the presence of cardiovascular and oncological pathologies create a higher risk perception and concern for
his own health, with fear of worse prognosis. The correlation between the use of alcoholic beverages and low risk
perception is interesting; we do not know if alcohol induces a relaxing effect that leads to a reduction in the degree of
worry or if the consumption arose precisely from an initial higher fear.
In the working population studied, the individual sensitivity of the person leading to greater adherence to prevention
campaigns did not imply different risks of contracting the disease. On the other hand, there is a statistically significant
relationship between attitude for health promotion and the perception of the danger of SARS Cov 2. The study can be
proposed as a pilot study for all other work activities at a low Covid risk.

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