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Occupational health management (OHM) at Deutsche Lufthansa AG “A complete success“

Issue 02/2018

BGM_Lufthansa

Lufthansa cabin crews conducted a four-week trial with compression stockings both at work and in their free time. When the trials ended, 94 percent of the participants reported experiencing partial to extensive personal benefits.

“We didn’t expect this type of positive response,” says Carmen Jungbluth, Cabin Crew Health Management Consultant at Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Cabin crew members were able to register for a four-week trial and monitoring program for VenoTrain compression stockings. Those who registered were then measured for the stockings during a cabin crew health week event in November 2017.
“We posted advance information on the trial and its dates on our intranet ,” she explains. “Within two days, we were fully booked with 100 participants, and we even set up a waiting list as well.” Bodytronic 600 was used to take digital and contact-free measurements of crew members in ten-minute intervals. This ensured the products would fit participants perfectly.
All participants were also issued an activity journal to complete during the four-week trial period. “A total of 97 journals were handed in after the trial , which is a very impressive percentage,” says Carmen Jungbluth. The 86 activity journals that were handed in on time were used to help analyze the trial results.

“Within two days, we were fully booked with 100 participants,
and we even set up a waiting list as well.”
Carmen Jungbluth

Carmen Jungbluth, Cabin Crew Health Management Consultant at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.
Carmen Jungbluth, Cabin Crew Health Management Consultant at Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

Most of the participants (83 percent) were women aged 20-60, 47 percent of which were over 40. “I think it’s remarkable that 17 percent of those who decided to participate were men,” says Carmen Jungbluth. Each man was given two pairs of dark blue VenoTrain business knee stockings. The women were issued two pairs of VenoTrain micro feel-good stockings in a choice of either dark blue or one of two skin tones. “Among other things, the stockings had to meet our uniform requirements if the trial was to be performed,” she explains. “There was no problem in this regard with the VenoTrain compression stockings from Bauerfeind.” Compression class 1 stockings were mostly used here, and in some cases compression class 2 stockings as well.

 

Fewer cases of “heavy” legs

Lufthansa Health Management staff and the Bauerfeind OHM team were particularly interested in learning about the effect the use of medical compression stockings over four weeks would have on “heavy” or swollen legs – a condition typically experienced by those who have to work on their feet. The trial participants were asked in advance if they experienced this condition daily, several times a week, or never at all. One-third of them reported that they didn’t have the condition. By the end of the trial , this number had doubled – i.e. 65.1 percent now reported having no such symptoms. The other groups also reported a decline in the occurrence of “heavy” or swollen legs: the number of participants who had reported occasional symptoms (one to two times per week) fell by 15 percentage points to 31.3 percent over the four-week trial period. All of the five participants who reported daily symptoms before the trial said that their situation had improved; not one of them reported experiencing symptoms every day after the four weeks were up. All of this confirms a clear therapeutic effect in terms of both the frequency and intensity of symptoms.
The impressive overall result of the trial was that 94 percent of the participants reported experiencing partial to extensive personal benefits from wearing the compression stockings.

“These days, modern compression stockings are indistinguishable from normal stockings.”
Carmen Jungbluth

Cabin crew members who participated in the trial were able to choose between VenoTrain micro in caramel and navy.
Cabin crew members who participated in the trial were able to choose between VenoTrain micro in caramel and navy.

“Very comfortable to wear”

The experience of wearing compression stockings was so pleasant for many participants that 85 percent of them decided to continue wearing the stockings after the trial period. The comments from the activity journals were also extremely positive – e.g. “very comfortable to wear,” “comfortable material ,” “never wore better stockings,” as well as numerous similar assessments. The difficulties people sometimes experience when putting on compression stockings were not an issue for the cabin crew members. Instead, it was practice makes perfect , as 75 percent of the participants described the process of putting on the stockings as “simple.” It’s therefore not surprising that 89 percent said, based on their overall impressions, they would recommend the use of compression stockings to colleagues and friends.

Trial may be repeated in the future

The Cabin Crew Health Management department was very satisfied with the trial and its results. “It was a complete success,” says Carmen Jungbluth, “and I can imagine repeating such a trial in the future in order get more of our people to wear the stockings on a regular basis.”
Carmen Jungbluth herself wears compression stockings not only during her long days at the office but also on long-haul flights. “I do that because I’ve found that my legs look exactly the same after the flight as they did before,” she says with a wink. “These days, modern compression stockings are indistinguishable from normal stockings, so a lot has really changed here.”

Images: Rainer Kraus


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