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J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc. 2010 Sep;49(5):500-507. Korean. Original Article.
Woo JM , Yoon GJ , Kim DH .
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Stress Research Institute, Inje University, Seoul, Korea.
Korea Employee Assistance Professionals Association, Seoul, Korea.
Korea Workers' Compensation & Welfare Service, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Preventive and Occupational Medicine, School of Medicine Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.

OBJECTIVES: Organizations have recently introduced Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) to promote work performance by helping employees to solve their current problems and reduce stress levels. This cross-sectional, retrospective study was conducted to measure features of work performance among EAP users in Korea. METHODS: Measurements were taken by employee surveys and employee records. Lost productivity time, job/organizational involvement, and job satisfaction were measured among 332 EAP users in ten organizations in Korea, which had introduced EAPs as of 2009. EAP users responded to measurements after one to three months after enrollment in EAP counseling service. A convenience sample of 297 workers, who had not used an EAP counseling service during the study period, was used as a comparison group. RESULTS: Compared with non-users, the EAP users showed more presenteeism (53.22 vs. 47.63 hours per four weeks, p=0.025) and more total lost productivity time (p=0.020). Job satisfaction was correlated with presenteeism. CONCLUSION: EAP users showed decreased productivity. It would appear that EAP counseling is a useful program for those who are present at workplace but suffering from decreased performance due to personal stress. This study indicates the need for a prospective outcome study to assess the economic and clinical value of EAPs.

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