Does a one-week health program promote well-being among caregiving parents? A quasiexperimental intervention study in Germany

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearch


  • Christian Hetzel
  • Torsten Alles
  • Michael Holzer
  • Erich Koch
  • Ingo Froböse

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Aim: The effect of a legally funded, one-week health program offered by the Social Insurance for Agriculture, Forestry and Horticulture (SVLFG) on the well-being of the participating caregiving parents is determined. Secondary outcome measures are stress and behavior theory-based characteristics. Subject and methods: In a controlled panel study (intervention group n=23, comparison group n=33, allocation not randomized) the WHO-5 index and other measures were collected at several measurement points. Statistical methods are fixed effects panel regressions under control of time-varying characteristics (external conditions, period effects). Results: At the start of the intervention 70 percent of the intervention group are at the threshold of clinically relevant depressiveness. After a very clear initial effect, the level remains above the baseline level for up to 15 weeks after the intervention (under stable conditions). A sinking below the initial level is prevented until at least 26 weeks even with significantly increasing external conditions. The main drivers appear to be sustained increases in acceptance of the care situation, institutional support, and recreational behavior. Conclusion: In view of the high initial burden of the participants, the sustainability of the prevention-oriented intervention is considerable. The intervention is unique for the social insurance system in Germany. The design allows a causal interpretation despite the small number of cases.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Public Health
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 23.06.2021

ID: 6261736

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