PODCAST: Wellness programs – do they work?

Michael Joyce is a multimedia producer at HealthNewsReview.org and tweets as @mlmjoyce

Wellness programs in the United States are an $8 billion industry.

Over 50 million Americans are enrolled in such programs. They are as variable in size and quality as the companies and organizations that offer them.

In this podcast you’ll hear 3 voices:

  • A skeptic who thinks the vast majority of these programs don’t work and may even be harmful.
  • A professor who helped bring down a program that illustrated what a wellness program should not be.
  • A health policy specialist who explains why it’s so difficult to gauge whether wellness programs are really working or not.


Some resources:

  • A list of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) Screening Guidelines
  • A 2014 paper from Ron Goetzel, PhD of Johns Hopkins asserting that wellness programs do work.
  • A 2014 article from the New York Times, and a 2016 article from Slate asserting that wellness programs don’t work.

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