College Students’ Health Behaviors & Substance Use After Receiving the InShape Prevention Plus Wellness Program Online

A new study published in Preventive Medicine Reports (2022) tested the single-session InShape Prevention Plus Wellness (PPW) program for improving multiple health behaviors among United States college students. 

The InShape PPW intervention, based on the Behavior-Image Model, was assessed for its efficacy using a single arm repeated measures study conducted over 12 weeks.

The intervention involved three components: 1) a survey, 2) a 25-minute wellness specialist consult with a peer health coach, and 3) a 15-minute goal planning session.

Follow-up measures were completed at 2-, 6-, and 12-weeks post session to assess changes in wellness behaviors.

Linear mixed effects models for repeated measures were used to analyze the association between intervention implementation on within-subject changes in physical activity, sedentary behavior, diet, general health, emotional wellness, and substance use.

A total of 121 participants enrolled in the study and 90 (74.4%) completed the health coach session (71% female).

At first follow-up, statistically significant increases were observed in vigorous physical activity days/week, moderate physical activity days/week, general health, and emotional wellness.

Statistically significant decreases in cannabis use and alcohol consumption were observed.

Many of these changes were sustained at second and third follow-up.

The authors concluded that the InShape PPW program shows promise to positively influence multiple health behaviors in college students.

In addition to using a brief, integrated multi-health behavior intervention founded on the Behavior-Image Model, this study was novel in its use of trained peer health coaches in an online environment (i.e., Zoom session) to address health provider challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

This study found that peer coaches can be trained to provide the one-hour InShape Prevention Plus Wellness program to college students online.

Furthermore, the single session InShape PPW intervention significantly improved health outcomes including physical activity, general health and emotional wellness while also reducing cannabis and alcohol use among participants.

Using trained peer health coaches online may further increase the cost-effectiveness and reach of the brief InShape Prevention Plus Wellness program to college students and young adults in community and military settings currently receiving the program in-person by trained professionals. 

Learn more about the InShape PPW program:

Read the entire research article: 

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