Utilization of the Preemployment Health Examination in a University Staff Health Service

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This study assessed the utilization of a mandatory preemployment health examination (PEHE) for 507 new fulltime university staff in 1976. A random sample of 126 new employees was interviewed by telephone. Of the 108 (86%) who completed the interview, 80 (74%) had been examined by the staff health service. Notification to take the exam, a reminder, and the employee's perception of its importance were highly associated (p < 0.001) with compliance. Only 30% of the food handlers and maintenance personnel had their PEHE before employment started; the proportion was similar for all new employees (29%). Therefore, although this staff health service was moderately successful in getting most new employees to have a PEHE, if the value of the examination is to be enhanced, more attention must be paid to notifying and reminding all prospective employees. Special consideration is needed to ensure that those in potentially high-risk jobs are examined prior to employment. The role of the university administration in improving compliance is emphasized.

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