Date of Conferral





Health Services


James E. Rohrer


Chronic illnesses such as cancer continue to be among the costliest for employers who provide health insurance to their employees. Despite efforts to incorporate health improvement programs in the workplace, there are concerns about the effectiveness of these programs that do not always deliver a positive return on investment. Little is known about the specific socioeconomic status of employees for whom these workplace health improvement programs are designed for. Guided by the social-ecological model, this study sought to understand the relationship between cancer health risks about socioeconomic factors among cancer survivors in the employer-insured population. Data were extracted from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System for employer-insured individuals who identified as having been diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life (N = 7,007). A multivariate linear regression analysis was used to assess the effect of household income, level of education, race/ethnicity of respondents on cancer health risks based on the American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention (ACS). The analysis of variance indicated that the overall model was significant (P < .05). College graduates had the highest level of compliance with requirement for cancer prevention; participants' adherence to the guidelines varied depending on their household income. This study may contribute to positive social change as it suggests that socioeconomic characteristics of employer-insured individuals, including health history, need to be taken into consideration in the development and implementation of worksite health improvement programs.