Employer attitudes towards general health checks and HIV testing in the workplace

Blake, Holly and Banerjee, Anirban and Evans, Catrin (2018) Employer attitudes towards general health checks and HIV testing in the workplace. Public Health, 156 . pp. 34-43. ISSN 1476-5616

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Abstract

Objective: There is a need to increase HIV testing rates in the UK. One approach is to increase access to testing through general health checks (GHCs) in the workplace. However, it is unclear whether GHCs are routinely offered by organisations, and employer perceptions of HIV testing are largely unknown.

Study Design: Online survey to assess attitudes towards and provision of general health checks and HIV testing in the workplace.

Methods: 98 employers from 25 job sectors completed an online survey. Employers were 61 SME, 37 large organisations; 86% employing mobile workers, 77.6% employing migrant workers and 51.7% of employees were male workers. Items included employer attitudes around workplace health, GHC provision, content and delivery, and attitudes towards workplace HIV testing including perceived benefits and barriers to HIV testing.

Results: Only 1 company offered opt-in workplace HIV testing. 78 companies (80%) did not provide any form of workplace GHC for employees. Decisions about health check provisions were not commonly informed by staff consultation (n=6) or national guidelines (n=4). 100% of companies (n=98) reported at least one benefit of HIV testing and 68 (69%) believed that HIV testing should be offered in the workplace. Perceived barriers to HIV testing in the workplace were: [a] not having enough knowledge about HIV and testing; [b] not having trained staff to undertake HIV testing; and, [c] not knowing how to access HIV testing kits. 56 companies (57.14%) would consider HIV testing as a future provision at their organisation. 67 companies (68.37%) would like further guidance on workplace HIV testing.

Conclusions: Few employers offer general health testing for employees, and opt-in workplace HIV testing is exceptionally rare, despite positive attitudes towards it. There is a need to provide evidence-based guidance and support for employers around HIV testing in the workplace.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: HIV, health screening, workplace, health promotion, health check, employers
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.puhe.2017.12.004
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2017 14:26
Last Modified: 12 Jun 2018 09:49
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/48657

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