A Multiple Health Behavior Change Internet Program for College Students

Period of Performance: 09/25/2009 - 06/30/2010

$491K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Pro-change Behavior Systems, Inc.
South Kingstown, RI 02879
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Despite the importance of shaping a solid foundation of health behaviors early in life, college students have been understudied as a population for health promotion programs. This proposal represents innovative research for impacting the promotion of healthy lifestyles among college students. The objective is to develop and test a population-based, multiple health behavior change program for college students, liveWell: A Healthy Foundation for Life. The multiple behavior multimedia program will offer Transtheoretical Model- based computer tailored feedback on regular exercise, fruit and vegetable consumption, and effective stress management, as well as providing access to a stage-matched dynamic web portal. Varying levels of tailoring will be employed across behaviors to examine the effects that co-variation has in multiple behavior change interventions. The success of the Phase I research demonstrates that the content and platform of the pilot program is both acceptable to college students and feasible to disseminate in college curricula. The primary goals of the Phase II proposal are to complete the development of the multiple behavior computer tailored intervention and web portal and to assess the effectiveness in a randomized trial including 1680 students from 2 large universities. Students will be recruited via freshman orientation classes and will complete follow-up assessments at 6-and 12-months. Effectiveness will be assessed by comparing improvements in continuous outcome measures and movement to public health criteria for each behavior. This intervention offers a cost-effective, science-based, and easily deliverable solution to improve multiple health behaviors, and overall health and well-being, of college students. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors at an early age, before the onset of chronic disease, is of great public health importance. This research proposes to develop and test a population-based, multiple health behavior change program for college students that promotes the adoption and maintenance of regular exercise, fruit and vegetable consumption, and effective stress management. This Internet-based intervention offers a cost-effective, science-based and easily deliverable solution to improve the health behaviors, and overall health and well-being, of college students.