Published Research Evaluating InShape PPW

Like SPORT PPW, the InShape Prevention Plus Wellness program was evaluated in a number of published research studies.  The results of these studies presented below were published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Preventive Medicine, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of American College Health and Preventive Medicine Reports.  

InShape PPW Study I (2008)

An initial study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine evaluated the InShape PPW program with over 300 college students and showed that, compared to a control group, young adults given the brief wellness-based lesson significantly (

  • reduced frequency and heavy use of alcohol,
  • reduced driving after drinking,
  • reduced initiation, quantity, and heavy use of marijuana,
  • increased hours of sleep, and
  • improved social and spiritual health-related quality of life. 

An analysis of the outcome data one year after baseline published in Preventive Medicine (2010) found that, compared to young adults in a control, those receiving InShape PPW continued to show significant ( 

  • reductions in driving after drinking,
  • increases in moderate exercise,
  • improvements in social health-related quality of life,
  • improvements in spiritual health-related quality of life, and
  • improvements in recent activity. 

InShape PPW Study II (2012)

A subsequent study published in the Journal of American College Health evaluating InShape PPW in a computer-based format with 200 college-aged young adults found that, compared to a computer control, students given the InShape PPW wellness-based prevention lesson had significantly ( 

  • Less intentions to drink alcohol,
  • Less intentions to smoke cigarettes,
  • Less intentions to use marijuana,
  • More positive alcohol use social norms,
  • More positive cigarette smoking social norms, and
  • More positive marijuana use social norms. 

InShape PPW Study III (2007)

In another study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, 155 students attending a university health clinic were randomized to receive either a health behavior contract, or an InShape tailored consultation with or without the contract ( 

College students receiving the InShape program showed significantly:

  • greater body image satisfaction compared to those receiving the contract only. 

These findings indicate that the InShape Prevention Plus Wellness program can also improve the body image of young participants.  


InShape PPW Implemented Online with Peer Coaches (2022)

A study published in Preventive Medicine Reports 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.

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,
  • emotional wellness, 
  • significant decreases in cannabis use,  
  • significant decreases in alcohol consumption, and 
  • many of these changes were sustained at second and third follow-up.


Together, these published research findings indicate that InShape PPW is effective in preventing and reducing substance use and related risk factors, and increasing health promoting behaviors among young adults.  It was also found to enhance various measures of health-related quality of life of college students.  Some of the positive outcomes from the brief InShape PPW lesson lasted for up to a year.  InShape PPW is an effective wellness-based prevention intervention in a single in-person lesson, and has potential as a self-administered computer-based prevention intervention and implemented online with trained peer coaches.