The provision of routine comprehensive medical examinations as part of the executive
health management programme of company senior executives is controversial in
academic and business literature. A difference between outcomes predicted in theory
and those achieved in practice is evident. Programme design had a bearing on what
outcomes could be achieved. This study was conducted to examine the change in
health risks experienced by a group of company senior executives attending a
commercially available executive health programme in Durban, South Africa. The study
assessed the evidence base for screening tests offered as part of the programme, the
health risk outcomes of participants on the programme and the perceptions of
participants of the intervention and the employer.
The study showed that executives perceive employers who provide executive medical
examinations very positively. A high prevalence of health risk factors was noted,
indicating the need for such an intervention. Although perceived to be comprehensive,
only 29 per cent of recommended preventative health screening tests were offered. Of
the tests offered 49 per cent were not considered preventative in nature. No statistically
significant changes were found for all health risks studied, over a two year period,
although the improvement in blood pressure might be considered clinically significant.
Individuals displayed significant natural risk flow, some at low risk remained so, others
became high risk; some at high risk became low, others remained high. These findings
are similar to those of other studies where behaviour based interventions are not
prominent. The findings suggest that an executive health programme based on medical
examinations alone cannot reliably and consistently improve health risk of company
senior executives. Evidence is provided that theory based and evidence-led
interventions are required to address the real health concerns of executives.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2015.