Type of treatment, client characteristics, and outcomes in an Employee Assistance Program

Paul Walter Dasher, Fordham University


The specific goals of this study were to (a) systematically define the parameters of counseling in an Employee Assistance Program and (b) examine the interactions between client characteristics, type of treatment (behavioral and psychodynamic), and outcomes (i.e., symptom severity, affective states, work performance). Ninety-six employees were included in the study. They participated in an in-house EAP with a range of 3 to 25 counseling sessions. Fifty-six percent received behavioral counseling, 44% received psychodynamic counseling. Presenting problems included: Emotional (26.1%), Marital (25.0%), Parent/Child (2.1%), Alcohol/Drug (16/7%), Job Related (11.5%), and Family Member (18.8%). Employees were given a pretreatment test battery including measures of symptom severity, affective/mood states, employee work performance, and therapist's ratings of symptomatology. After participation in the program, all employees were given the same battery including a posttherapy questionnaire. Statistical analyses included factor analysis and t tests on the pretest and posttest means for symptom severity, mood states, and employee performance. A straight entry regression procedure was performed with the following independent variables: age, sex, level of education, referral source, length of employment, number of sessions, type of treatment, number of sessions multiplied by type of treatment (INTE), diagnosis, and pretest scores on symptom severity, mood states, and employee performance. The presence of a significant treatment effect was supported at the.001 level for all dependent variables. Employees showed measurable improvement after participating in the program regardless of type of treatment. The regression analyses reported a number of significant predictor variables (predicting posttest symptom severity, mood states, and employee performance). Specific prediction equations revealed that pretest scores were the best predictors of posttest performance for all dependent variables. While both types of treatment were effective, the behavioral treatment produced better predicted outcomes than the psychodynamic treatment in general, especially as the number of sessions increased. Results also supported the conclusion that the behavioral treatment would be more effective in reducing absenteeism and improving work productivity.

Subject Area

Academic guidance counseling|Adult education|Continuing education|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Dasher, Paul Walter, "Type of treatment, client characteristics, and outcomes in an Employee Assistance Program" (1989). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9007176.