School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Evaluating the Influence of Mindfulness-Based Behavior Change on Social Networks: A Public Health Approach for Lifestyle-Exacerbated Chronic Illness Management

Document Type

Poster

Abstract Category

Prevention and Community Health

Keywords

behavior change, wellness, mindfulness, community, social influence

Publication Date

Spring 5-1-2019

Abstract

Sustainable lifestyle and behavior modification is a growing focus for global chronic illness prevention and management. Chronic illness secondary to lifestyle is the result of multi-influential behavior patterns. Although social sways on health behavior are well-recognized, interventions harnessing this impact have yet to be implemented. Mindfulness-based behavior change (MBBC) is a novel and sustainable intervention which promotes self-awareness and behavior consciousness in populations challenged with high levels of stress and chronic illness. Our study investigated the impact of participants’ MBBC on their social networks. Participants with stress-related chronic health conditions receiving MBBC were eligible. Forty-five participants were recruited and interviewed by telephone about their MBBC experience and perceived benefits and influence on others. Twenty-five additional eligible participants could not be reached (3 separate attempts each). The interview included open-ended and Likert-scale rated questions. The student investigator contacted participants rather than the principle investigator (care provider). Participants ranged from 27-73 years old (median 53 years). Diagnoses included weight management, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, fatigue, gastro-intestinal disorders, and smoking cessation. 80% had more than one visit at the time of interview (range 1-14 visits, median 2 visits). 69% of participants noticed others benefit a result of their learning the tools and techniques. 41% of participants reported others using MBBC as a result of their example. Participants shared their knowledge with family, friends, and coworkers with similar diagnoses. Mindfulness meditation applications, anti-inflammatory diet, and mindful eating were the most shared interventions. The diagnoses in this study represent common primary care presentations. The positive impact of MBBC on social networks presents a promising cost-effective public health approach to reach higher volumes of patients, identify at-risk individuals, and create community. Future data will explore the motivations behind information sharing and identify the applicability of behavior-based theories at a population-level.

Open Access

1

Comments

Presented at Research Days 2019.

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Evaluating the Influence of Mindfulness-Based Behavior Change on Social Networks: A Public Health Approach for Lifestyle-Exacerbated Chronic Illness Management

Sustainable lifestyle and behavior modification is a growing focus for global chronic illness prevention and management. Chronic illness secondary to lifestyle is the result of multi-influential behavior patterns. Although social sways on health behavior are well-recognized, interventions harnessing this impact have yet to be implemented. Mindfulness-based behavior change (MBBC) is a novel and sustainable intervention which promotes self-awareness and behavior consciousness in populations challenged with high levels of stress and chronic illness. Our study investigated the impact of participants’ MBBC on their social networks. Participants with stress-related chronic health conditions receiving MBBC were eligible. Forty-five participants were recruited and interviewed by telephone about their MBBC experience and perceived benefits and influence on others. Twenty-five additional eligible participants could not be reached (3 separate attempts each). The interview included open-ended and Likert-scale rated questions. The student investigator contacted participants rather than the principle investigator (care provider). Participants ranged from 27-73 years old (median 53 years). Diagnoses included weight management, diabetes, hypertension, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, fatigue, gastro-intestinal disorders, and smoking cessation. 80% had more than one visit at the time of interview (range 1-14 visits, median 2 visits). 69% of participants noticed others benefit a result of their learning the tools and techniques. 41% of participants reported others using MBBC as a result of their example. Participants shared their knowledge with family, friends, and coworkers with similar diagnoses. Mindfulness meditation applications, anti-inflammatory diet, and mindful eating were the most shared interventions. The diagnoses in this study represent common primary care presentations. The positive impact of MBBC on social networks presents a promising cost-effective public health approach to reach higher volumes of patients, identify at-risk individuals, and create community. Future data will explore the motivations behind information sharing and identify the applicability of behavior-based theories at a population-level.