Can workplace intervention prolong work life of older workers? A quasi-experimental study

Subas Neupane, Saila Kyrönlahti, Jodi Oakman, Anna Siukola, Aart-Jan Riekhoff, Susan Kuivalainen, Clas-Håkan Nygård

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BACKGROUND: We aimed to evaluate the impact of a workplace senior program intervention on early exit from labor market and on the disability retirement among older employees and work-related physical factors associated with it.

METHODS: A total of 259 individuals aged 55 + years participated in the study (107 in intervention and 152 were controls). A questionnaire survey was conducted among Finnish food industry employees between 2003 and 2009 and the intervention "senior program" was provided between 2004 and 2009. The type of pension for the respondents who had retired by 2019 was obtained and dichotomized as statutory vs. early labor market exit. Disability pension was investigated as a separate outcome. Information on work-related factors was obtained from the survey. Cox regression analysis was used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) with their 95% confidence intervals.

RESULTS: Fifty-one employees had early labor market exit. Of them, 70% (n = 36) were control participants. Employees in the senior program worked for longer years (mean years 7.4, 95% CI 6.4-8.1) compared to the control (6.6, 95% CI 6.3-7.5). Sixty percent lower risk of early labor market exit (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.19-0.84) and disability pension was found among employees in the senior program compared to the control group. Good work ability had a 94% lower risk (0.06, 95% CI 0.01-0.29) of early labor market exit and 85% lower risk (0.15, 95% CI 0.03-0.73) of disability pension compared to poor work ability. Employees with musculoskeletal pain had 4 times higher risk of disability pension compared to those without musculoskeletal pain.

CONCLUSIONS: A workplace senior program intervention prolonged work life and had positive effect on reducing disability pension among older industrial workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-246
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Early online date6 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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