Employee Assistance Research Foundation




Release 16-2

New Study Demonstrates Employee Assistance Programs Are Effective in Improving Job Performance

NORFOLK, VA, April 25, 2016—A major new study funded by the Employee Assistance Research Foundation (EARF) has confirmed the effectiveness of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to help employees address personal and work-related concerns which can negatively affect job performance. The study was conducted by Drs. Melissa Richmond and Ana P. Nunes of the OMNI Institute in Denver, CO and Dr. Fred Pampel, of the University of Colorado Boulder in partnership with the Colorado State Employee Assistance Program (C-SEAP). To demonstrate the value of EAPs, the researchers recruited a large survey population from Colorado state employees, included validated and objective measurement tools, and used a quasi-experimental design in which two groups (employee EAP users and non-users) were carefully matched and compared. The study findings indicate that employees receiving EAP services showed improved work functioning (reduced absenteeism and presenteeism) significantly more than a well-matched comparison group of employees not receiving EAP services.

Most North American employers offer EAPs as a service to help workers and their families with a variety of life challenges that can negatively affect work performance. EAPs are a first entry point for millions of employees and dependents seeking short-term counseling and specialized referrals for all types of work-and-life concerns. However, until the release of this EARF-funded study contemporary and rigorous research on the effectiveness of EAPs to improve work-related outcomes has been lacking.

PO Box 3146 Norfolk, VA 23514-3146 (703) 416-0060 info@eapfoundation.org

The first peer-reviewed journal article describing the study’s findings, The Impact of Employee Assistance Services on Workplace Outcomes: Results of a Prospective, Quasi-Experimental Study, will appear in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (see online abstract at http://psycnet.apa.org/psycarticles/2015-56110-001). A second article of additional study findings has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

The EARF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation dedicated to advancing research in the field of employee assistance and workplace behavioral health. For more information, please contact EARF Executive Officer Bob McLean at 703-416-0060.