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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How theory-driven web-based wellness planning influences attitudes and behavior: An action research case study
by Russo, Ruthann, Ph.D., Saybrook University, 2015, 215; 3718554
Abstract (Summary)

Wellness is enough of a vital concern in the United States that as of 2014, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted to encourage employers to adopt evidence-based workplace wellness programs. Although it is believed that these wellness programs will decrease both chronic disease and healthcare costs, participation has been minimal. Existing research has identified the positive impact of both the individual’s role and the use of technology in wellness planning. This inquiry used an action research case study design to explore how theory-driven web-based wellness planning impacted study participants’ decisions, actions, and perceptions about wellness. The researcher created a free, open access, proprietary web-based wellness planning tool based on stages of change and integral theory. Over the 4-month period of this study, the web site had 307 visitors and 29 registered users, 12 of whom also were employees of technology companies and were recruited to take part in the case study. Web site observation, the wellness-planning tool, and individual interviews served as the primary sources of data. Analysed using thematic analysis and descriptive statistics, the findings demonstrated that this web-based planning tool increased the users’ wellness awareness and may impact their intention to make improvements. Although the tool had a positive impact on users’ wellness planning skills and enhanced their understanding of wellness, most users continued to overemphasize physical wellness and underemphasize spirit and community, as represented by the lower quadrants of integral theory. Interviews further revealed that there may be an interest for employers to expand workplace wellness (WPW) program offerings, involve employees in program design, and expand WPW activities, with the intention of increasing self-care of both employees and their family members. These findings are limited to the participants and conditions of this research but warrant further study with more participants spanning a longer time period to determine whether changes may be generalizable and sustainable.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fortune, Luann D.
Commitee: Curtis, Devorah, Wilcox, Deborah
School: Saybrook University
Department: Mind Body Medicine
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Behavioral psychology, Alternative Medicine
Keywords: Action research, Integral theory, Population health management, Stages of change, Web-based wellness planning, Workplace wellness
Publication Number: 3718554
ISBN: 978-1-321-98422-4
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