Social Support and Supervisory Quality Interventions in the Workplace: A Stakeholder-Centered Best-Evidence Synthesis of Systematic Reviews on Work Outcomes

SL Wagner, MI White, IZ Schultz, K Williams-Whitt, C Koehn, CE Dionne, M Koehoorn, HG Harder, R Pasca, O Wärje, V Hsu, L McGuire, I Lama, W Schulz, D Kube, MD Wright


Background: There is controversy surrounding the impact of workplace interventions aimed at improving social support and supervisory quality on absenteeism, productivity and financial outcomes.

Objective: To determine the value of social support interventions for work outcomes.

Methods: Databases were searched for systematic reviews between 2000 and 2012 to complete a synthesis of systematic reviews guided by the PRISMA statement and the IOM guidelines for systematic reviews. Assessment of articles for inclusion and methodological quality was conducted independently by at least two researchers, with differences resolved by consensus.

Results: The search resulted in 3363 titles of which 3248 were excluded following title/abstract review, leaving 115 articles that were retrieved and underwent full article review. 10 articles met the set inclusion criteria, with 7 focusing on social support, 2 on supervisory quality and 1 on both. We found moderate and limited evidence, respectively, that social support and supervisory quality interventions positively impact workplace outcomes.

Conclusion: There is moderate evidence that social support and limited evidence that supervisory quality interventions have a positive effect on work outcomes.


Social support; Efficiency; Absenteeism; Workplace; Outcome assessment (health care)

doi: 10.15171/ijoem.2015.608

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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