Review

Scand J Work Environ Health 2023;49(5):315-329    pdf

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.4097 | Published online: 09 May 2023, Issue date: 01 Jul 2023

How effective are organizational-level interventions in improving the psychosocial work environment, health, and retention of workers? A systematic overview of systematic reviews

by Aust B, Møller JL, Nordentoft M, Frydendall KB, Bengtsen E, Jensen AB, Garde AH, Kompier M, Semmer N, Rugulies R, Jaspers SØ

Objective This study aimed to systematically review the effectiveness of organizational-level interventions in improving the psychosocial work environment and workers’ health and retention.

Methods We conducted an overview of systematic reviews on organizational-level interventions published between 2000 and 2020. We systematically searched academic databases, screened reference lists, and contacted experts, yielding 27 736 records. Of the 76 eligible reviews, 24 of weak quality were excluded, yielding 52 reviews of moderate (N=32) or strong (N=20) quality, covering 957 primary studies. We assessed quality of evidence based on quality of review, consistency of results, and proportion of controlled studies.

Results Of the 52 reviews, 30 studied a specific intervention approach and 22 specific outcomes. Regarding intervention approaches, we found strong quality of evidence for interventions focusing on “changes in working time arrangements” and moderate quality of evidence for “influence on work tasks or work organization”, “health care approach changes”, and “improvements of the psychosocial work environment”. Regarding outcomes, we found strong quality of evidence for interventions about “burnout” and moderate quality evidence for “various health and wellbeing outcomes”. For all other types of interventions, quality of evidence was either low or inconclusive, including interventions on retention.

Conclusions This overview of reviews identified strong or moderate quality of evidence for the effectiveness of organizational-level interventions for four specific intervention approaches and two health outcomes. This suggests that the work environment and the health of employees can be improved by certain organizational-level interventions. We need more research, especially about implementation and context, to improve the evidence.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 2006;32(6):515-527  2012;38(4):299-313  2013;39(6):535-549  2015;41(5):491-503  2021;47(7):489-508
The following articles refer to this text: 2023;49(5):311-313; 2024;50(1):3-10; 0;0 Special issue:0
Download additional material