5 Recommendations for research
PHIAC recommends that the following research questions should be addressed. It notes that 'effectiveness' in this context relates not only to the size of the effect, but also to cost effectiveness and duration of effect. It also takes into account any harmful/negative side effects.
What is the relative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of the different components of organisation-wide approaches for promoting the mental wellbeing of employees (including policies, human resource management, involvement of employees, and management style and practices)?
What definitions and validated instruments should be used to measure both the positive and negative aspects of mental health at work and the relationship of mental wellbeing to organisation performance? Presenteeism as well as absenteeism and other measures of performance and productivity should be considered.
What are the costs and benefits of organisation-wide approaches in different types of organisational settings? What models for promoting mental wellbeing are particularly effective and cost effective in micro, small and medium-sized businesses? What factors can help or hinder the development and implementation of organisation-wide approaches?
What approaches are effective and cost effective for particular groups of employees (for example, employees of different gender, age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, religion/belief or other characteristic)? What approaches are effective and cost effective for part-time, shift workers and migrant workers?
The approaches recommended in the Medical Research Council guidelines for evaluation of complex interventions (2008) should be adopted. Evaluations should consider the opportunities for conducting 'natural experiments' as businesses develop and implement approaches to promoting employee mental wellbeing.
More detail on the gaps in the evidence identified during development of this guidance is provided in appendix D.