Steps to Health employee weight management randomized control trial: short-term follow-up results.


OBJECTIVE: To present the short-term follow-up findings of the Steps to Health study, a randomized trial to evaluate the effectiveness of two employee weight management programs offered within Duke University and the Health System. METHODS: A total of 550 obese (body mass index, ≥30 kg/m2) employees were randomized 1:1 between January 2011 and June 2012 to the education-based Weight Management (WM) or the WM+ arm, which focused on behavior modification. Employees were contacted to complete a follow-up visit approximately 14 months after baseline. RESULTS: There were no clinically, or statistically, meaningful differences between arms, but there were modest reductions in body mass index, and positive, meaningful changes in diet and physical activity for both arms. CONCLUSIONS: The modest positive effects observed in this study may suggest that to achieve weight loss through the workplace more intensive interventions may be required.





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Publication Info

Østbye, Truls, Marissa Stroo, Rebecca JN Brouwer, Bercedis L Peterson, Eric L Eisenstein, Bernard F Fuemmeler, Julie Joyner, Libby Gulley, et al. (2015). Steps to Health employee weight management randomized control trial: short-term follow-up results. J Occup Environ Med, 57(2). pp. 188–195. 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000335 Retrieved from

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Eric Leo Eisenstein

Associate Professor Emeritus in Medicine

Research Interests:

Dr. Eisenstein is a member of the Duke Clinical Research Institute’s Outcomes Research and Assessment Group, with a special interest in understanding the relationships between complex interventions in health care systems and the long-term clinical and economic outcomes of patients. He has served as Principal Investigator for phase II, III, and IV economic and quality of life studies conducted alongside randomized clinical trials in cardiovascular, emergency, pulmonary, and vascular medicine and surgery. He also has conducted health technology evaluations making use of innovative research methods designed to better understand key relationships in observation (non-randomized) patient data. This work has included evaluations of the long-term clinical outcomes of coronary artery disease patients receiving drug-eluting vs. bare metal intracoronary stents, and how the use of clopidogrel changes those relationships. He also has conducted several studies assessing factors contributing to the costs of and evaluating different design considerations for multi-center randomized clinical trials.

In addition to his working in traditional health technology evaluation, Dr. Eisenstein has an interest in evaluating information technologies as interventions in health care systems. In this regard, he has collaborated in the design and conduct of large-scale, randomized clinical trials to evaluate clinical decision support systems. The research objective in these studies has been to develop methods for evaluating health information technologies in practice-based settings using a “tool kit” of inexpensive, yet highly scalable methods that make use of data sets created as a byproduct of normal clinical and administrative operations. The use of these evaluation methods has been demonstrated in four clinical trials that include care process, clinical, economic, and quality of life measurements.


John McCray Dement

Professor Emeritus in Family Medicine and Community Health

Research interest focus on occupational and environmental epidemiology including exposure assessments for epidemiological studies. Exposure assessments involve the development of new and innovative exposure assessment methods and application of these methods to cohort and case-control studies of exposed populations. Research topics include occupational lung diseases and occupational and environmental carcinogens such as asbestos fibers, man-made fibers, and benzene. Epidemiological studies involve the development of quantitative risk estimates for occupational diseases among cohorts of workers exposed to substances such as asbestos. Other ongoing occupational lung disease studies include assessments of exposures and lung diseases among construction workers at Department of Energy nuclear facilities. The objective of this research is to identify possible occupational and personal factors related to the risk of lung diseases such as asbestosis, silicosis, and COPD.

Construction industry health and safety research is another area of research focus. This research includes development of epidemiological surveillance methods for work related diseases and injuries using existing data sources such as medical claims and worker compensation data. Work related musculoskeletal diseases among carpenters are currently being studied in collaboration with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters.

Other ongoing research includes the development and implementation occupational safety and health surveillance systems for health care workers. The objective of this research is to develop, implement, and evaluate a model surveillance program which can be implemented in other health care settings. This project involves both population-based and case-based surveillance strategies. Surveillance and prevention programs for workplace violence experienced by health care workers is a research interest,

Prevention and management of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases among workers participating in multi-employer health funds is a current area of research interest.

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