The project

The aim of the proposed project is to develop an educational and training tool for planning, implementing and evaluating work place health promotion activities that will enable public health and occupational health professionals of a wide range of specializations to adequately address the issue of occupational risks and hazards that are specific to women, or that women are more likely to encounter. In addition this educational tool will refer to general health promotion actions at the workplace with a vision of promoting healthy lifestyles, using women as mediators, at the households.

The training tool we propose targets directly equal opportunities issues by addressing in details the specific risks (related to gender, form of work and employment, etc) that women face. Women are 1.5 times as likely as men to suffer work-related health problems other than an accident in the EU in 1999 (Gender Issues in Health and Safety at Work”, 2003, European Agency for Health and Safety at work).

The same report concludes that “women workers are particularly disadvantaged by out-of-date workforce structures, workplace arrangements and attitudes. Health-promotion policies for working women need to take into account all their three roles: as housewives, as mothers and as workers. Women’s views as users, care givers and workers, and their own experiences, knowledge and skills should be reflected in formulating and implementing health-promotion strategies”.


 

Project Results

The HPROWOMEN project has now been successfully completed.
The major achievements of this two year effort are discussed here.

The aim of the HPROWOMEN project was the development of an educational/ training tool for planning, implementing and evaluating workplace health promotion activities that will enable public health and occupational health professionals to adequately address the issue of occupational risks and hazards that are specific to women, or that women, are more likely to encounter. This educational tool refers to general health promotion at the workplace with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles, using women as mediators as well as incorporating a complete methodology for risk assessment and with a view to support relevant policy developments at the EU level.

During program implementation key issues that health promotion for women should address at the workplace were identified which led to the development of a comprehensive educational tool for those teaching workplace health promotion for women.

The educational tool included a discussion and analysis of the most important health issues that women face in the workplace. At the same time the tool includes a methodological framework for planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion projects for working women. Throughout the tool special emphasis is given to the fact that women have a dual role in society being both responsible for the family as well as holding demanding occupational positions. The role of women in influencing health promotion in the larger society is central in the educational tool.

The tool focused on the following issues:

A methodology for planning, implementing and evaluating workplace health promotion for women, mental health & work-life balance, women’s occupational health, musculoskeletal diseases, work-related violence, bullying and sexual harassment, female reproductive health and breast feeding, screening, communicable diseases, smoking, alcohol abuse, nutrition and physical exercise.
 
The educational tool was tested through a pilot training course and disseminated broadly to European Schools of Public Health and Schools which provide training for occupational physicians and other health professionals.

The educational tool also became a manual - published by Springer publications titled “Promoting Health for Working Women” – ISBN 978-0-387—73037-0.

The HPROWOMEN Pilot Course - “Training the trainers

The pilot course took place in Athens, Greece on the 8th, 9th and 10th of February 2007. It was a rather intense educational experience, consisting of both practical and theoretical sessions. The course was delivered by a group of prominent experts in public health, health promotion, epidemiology and occupational medicine and gender issues among which Professor Karen Messing (University of Quebec, Montreal), Professor Athena Linos (University of Athens Medical School) and Professor Kaisa Kauppinen (Finnish Institute of Occupational Health), Dr Burdorf (Erasmus University), Dr Natalie Schmitt (Technical University Dresden),Dr Sotiris Tsiodras (University of Athens), Professor Manolis Kogevinas (Municipal Institute of Medical Research – Spain), Dr Elena Riza (University of Athens), Dr John Polychronakis (University of Athens).

The course focused on health promotion for women bearing in mind that women have a dual role in society, a professional and a domestic one (wife & mother). Especially in health matters women look after their own health, but they also influence a great deal the health of their family.

The teaching material was created by the partners of the HPROWOMEN project. During the course the material was evaluated by the participants and was revised and updated where necessary.

To view a complete account of the pilot course including the educational tool presentations please click here.  

This information is also available on CD-ROM. To obtain this CD-ROM please contact the project coordinator.

“Promoting Health for Working Women”

The educational tool developed during the 2 year project has become a manual published by Springer publications titled “Promoting Health for Working Women” – ISBN 978-0-387—73037-0.

The book is edited by Professor Athena Linos, of the Medical School of the University of Athens and president of PROLEPSIS and Professor Wilhelm Kirch of the University of Dresden.
 
The book is divided into four parts which discuss the most important factors that influence women’s health at the workplace.
  
Part I provides an overview of the principles and concepts of health promotion for working women, and provides a methodological framework for the design and implementation of health promotion programs. The first part of the book also includes a review of the relevant European Union (EU) legislative framework.

Part II reviews specific health topics of particular interest to working women, namely, occupational diseases, mental health and work-life balance, musculoskeletal disorders, work-related violence, bullying and sexually harassment, and communicable diseases.

In Part III, special emphasis is made on two particular health issues concerning working women-reproductive health and breastfeeding.

The final part reviews lifestyle determinants such as smoking, alcohol, and nutrition from a woman's perspective, and in view of the special role women still have in most of today's family and societal structures.

To order “Promoting Health for Working Women” - ISBN 978-0-387—73037-0 contact Springer Publications, www.springer.com or ask major bookstores in your area.

 

 
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