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MULTILEVEL INTERVENTIONS TO PROMOTE MENTAL HEALTH IN SMEs AND PUBLIC WORKPLACES

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - H-WORK (MULTILEVEL INTERVENTIONS TO PROMOTE MENTAL HEALTH IN SMEs AND PUBLIC WORKPLACES)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-06-30

Mental problems are increasing, especially among the working population, with a significant decrease in productivity. The economic costs in general amount to more than 4% of GDP. Loss is especially evident for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and public organisations, particularly vulnerable for a lack of knowledge and resources to effectively manage the mental health and well-being of their workers. One of the main challenges is therefore to support their representatives (i.e. managers, supervisors, leaders) with tools and strategies to promote mental health at work.

The general aim of the H-WORK project is to design, validate and exploit an integrated toolkit (H-TOOLS) consisting of three protocols which will provide guidelines and measures to effectively conduct a psychosocial risk assessment (HAT), implement the most appropriate multilevel interventions (HIT), and evaluate the relevant outcomes (HET).
Implementation of the H-WORK Toolkits is ongoing in eleven intervention sites across five European countries, including five public organisations (healthcare, higher education, governmental) and six SMEs (IT, retail, engineering, finance, social cooperative). The protocols developed so far are designed to be flexible and modular to the specific characteristics and needs of the different organisations involved while being able to ensure comparisons of risk assessment, process and economic outcomes.
Finally, the H-WORK will design and deploy the H-WORK Innovation Platform which will include novel digital services that will facilitate the spread and uptake of the H-WORK solutions across Europe. The H-WORK project will contribute to the development of recommendations and guidelines that will provide effective guidance and direction to key actors in the promotion and advocacy of health and safety at work, ensuring health, social and economic prosperity in the EU.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to Thursday, September 9, 2021.

WP1 - MANAGE:
KoM held in Bologna with the Stakeholders Advisory Board involved; project meetings scheduled for both 2020 and 2021, and the relevant digital communication systems set up. Grant and Consortium Agreement, Guidelines for Authorship have been finalised. The Innovation Management Committeet (IMC) designed an innovative digital multilevel intervention. The outbreak of the Covid 19 pandemic affected the project significantly. A meta-process evaluation regarding project activities has been implemented as mitigation measure. An internal Status and Effort internal report has been defined at M9. Periodical Reporting is ongoing.

WP2 - CREATE:
D2.1 has been submitted within the extended deadline. An action plan for D2.2 has been defined and a partnership has been established with the EFPA Work and Organizational Standing Committee to collect additional data about legal frameworks on mental health promotion in the workplace at national and European level.

WP3 - COLLECT:
The HAT has been finalised, based on a mixed-method approach, with a practical guide for end-users. The HAT translation from English to intervention sites' languages (Italian, Czech, Spanish, Dutch) has been finalised. A new intervention site for Group 2 has been included. Group 2 Needs Analysis has been conducted across five intervention sites.

WP 4 - INTERVENE:
The HIT development is in progress. WP4 Leader has performed a systematic review of scientific literature about multilevel interventions to promote mental health in the workplace, representing the basis for the HIT. D4.1 has been successfully submitted. An intervention implementation protocol for intervention partners and testbed has been developed. WP4 is monitoring the implementation phase in all the intervention sites.

WP5 - EVALUATE:
WP5 conducted a systematic review on process evaluation measures, thus setting the basis for the HET. A set of cost-effectiveness measures has been developed along with a template to help gathering the data. The development of the HET is ongoing and a first draft has been developed.WP5 leader have developed a meta-process evaluation framework to help improving the toolkits and methods and providing alternative strategies at the Coordinator level to overcome delays due to the pandemic.

WP6 - EXPLOIT:
The IMC has been established and based on the results of WP2, a first combined digital solution has been developed. The last hybrid version of the H-WORK digital intervention is structured around three levels of intervention (individual, group and leader level), where the digital and physical characteristics of the interventions can coexist and complement each other.

WP7 - PROMOTE:
Communication channels and rules set up. Project website and Social Media channels are online. Print and digital materials delivered in each intervention sites for communication purposes. Sister Projects have been contacted and future joint activities are scheduled. Scientific articles and presentations at conferences are supported and promoted.

WP8 - PROTECT:
. The Data Management Plan is a living document and it is expected to be progressively updated as the project activities proceed. The H-WORK Databank functional specifications have been developed and accommodate the data collected so far.

WP9 - ETHICS:
D9.1 successfully submitted, providing an ethical framework for conducting research within the H-WORK project. D9.2 submitted.
Several systematic researches on specific topics conducted to build a solid base for designing the toolkits.
WP2 conducted a systematic review on digital interventions highlighting the lack of digital solutions for team and leaders. The IMC has developed a combined digital solution that aims to respond to this shortcoming. In some intervention sites (e.g. AUSL), this multilevel digital intervention is being tested. The systematic review showed a lack of evidence on the contextual characteristics and organisational mechanisms that can increase the effectiveness of the digital solutions adopted.
WP5 collected the quantitative and qualitative measures used in process evaluations, thus developing a new theoretical framework that resulted in the first version of the HET protocol aimed at supporting lead-users in highlighting those mechanisms and processes that made the interventions work as expected or to clarify where the organisation can further improve to facilitate mental health promotion in the workplace.
WP4 gathered studies investigating the impact of interventions on workers' mental health and organisational well-being, laying the ground for the HIT-toolkit framework. Users of the protocols will first be guided in exploring their organisational context through a mixed-method approach, after that, the HIT protocol will provide a set of indications and recommendations of the type of multilevel strategy to be adopted.
The project also introduced objective organisational and economic data into the overall analysis thus estimating the overall impact from an employer's point of view (e.g. return of the investment).
The Databank has been configured in its essential functional aspects, it is being populated with the numerous quantitative and qualitative data collected so far.
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