Wellness Institute Services Evaluation Research (WISER)

Wellness programs may enhance individual decisions to engage in positive, preventative self-care


The goal of this study was to inform debate about the effectiveness of Canadian health policy and prevention programs by assessing the impact of the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital in Winnipeg. The Wellness Institute’s mission is to help people learn how to become well and stay well through a variety of lifestyle support systems. These include nutrition counseling, massage and reflexology, personal training and other related programs. This study was designed to assess whether the Wellness Institute’s programs were effectively resulting in healthier lifestyle choices and outcomes for their members. This project provided an opportunity to assess whether community health promotion programs could effectively encourage the adoption of wellness oriented lifestyle behaviours, and perhaps be expanded into other regions of Canada.

Grant Outputs

Wellness Institute Member Survey Summary of Results – Phase One – http://www.umanitoba.ca/centres/aging/media/Phase-One-Member-Survey.pdf

This report provides an initial, self-reported assessment of people’s reasons for joining the Wellness Institute. It shows that 42% of people felt they did a good job of caring for their health, and 36% felt they did a very good job. It also suggests that 73% of Wellness Institute members joined in order to maintain or improve their health, while other reasons were shown to be less common (e.g.to maintain or improve appearance (43%), to have fun and enjoyment (38%). This initial brief was prepared in May 2000, and reported on the initial research gathered in the WISER project from 1998-1999.

Wellness Institute Member Survey Summary of Results – Phase Two – http://www.umanitoba.ca/centres/aging/media/Phase-Two-Comparison-Survey.pdf

This second phase research report assesses the responses of 500 people in 2003 to explore changes in health practices and behaviours since their original interview in 1999. The survey found that while in phase one 22% of interviewees smoked daily, by phase two, that number had decreased to 14% of respondents. Similar to the phase one results, most respondents ranked their health as good (35%) or very good (37%). There was limited change in the types of physical activities people engaged in over time, and the majority of respondents continued to describe their health in positive terms.

Self-determination and social comparison in a health-promotion setting – http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15324834basp2601_3

This study assesses adult members’ self-reported reasons for joining a health facility. The report shows that those with a higher degree of self-concordance demonstrate greater odds of continuing membership in the health center. They also demonstrate a lower frequency of comparing themselves with others, were less likely to feel poorly about themselves as a result of social comparison, and were more likely to pursue healthy lifestyle choices for the purpose of self-improvement instead of to maintain self-esteem.

Self-Determination and Functional Persuasion to Encourage Physical Activity – http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/routledg/gpsh/2005/00000020/00000006/art00001

This research advances an approach to promoting physical activity that is based on the self-concordance (SC) of people’s motivations. It proposes that SC establishes a positive or negative orientation toward the challenge inherent in physical activity, and that maximum participation will be achieved by appealing either positively or negatively, according to individual requirements.

Grant Details

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