Author Faculty (Discipline)

Education

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

2018

Proceedings

American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference

ANZSRC / FoR Code

111714 Mental Health| 111712 Health Promotion

Avondale Research Centre

Lifestyle and Health Research Centre

Peer Review

Before publication

Field of Education

06 Health

Abstract

PURPOSE: This study examined the effect of an online multimodal lifestyle intervention, which incorporated evidence-based strategies from Lifestyle Medicine and Positive Psychology, on the mental health and emotional wellness of adults throughout Australia and New Zealand.

BACKGROUND: Common mental health disorders have reached epidemic proportions worldwide (1). In the US, one in five adults have a common mental health disorder (2), and in Australia, a similar number have experienced an affective disorder in the past twelve months (3). Antidepressants are ranked in the top three most commonly used therapeutic drug classes in the US (4), and are the most commonly used psychotropic medications in Australia (5). A new paradigm is needed focusing on primary prevention to address this burgeoning mental health problem.

METHODS: 508 individuals self-selected to participate in the study and were randomized to an intervention or delay-controlled group. Both groups completed an online survey using validated instruments which assessed the participantsʼ emotional wellness at three intervals: baseline, and at 3 months and 6 months post-intervention. 425 individuals completed the baseline assessment and entered the study (intervention n=217, control group n=208), and 359 (84%) completed the post intervention questionnaire. The intervention group participated in a 10-week online multimodal lifestyle intervention, called “The Live More Project” also known as "The Lift Project”(6).

RESULTS: Overall, the cohort was in the ‘normal’ range at baseline for the domains of emotional wellness measured. At 3 months, significant reductions were observed in symptoms of ‘depression’ (-31%, p<0.001), ‘anxiety’ (-43%, p<0.001) and ‘stress’ (-22%, p<0.001) in the intervention compared to the control group. Significant improvements were observed in ‘mental health’ (8%, p<0.001), ‘vitality’ (18%, p<0.001) and overall ‘life 2 satisfaction’ (8%, p<0.001). Improvements in the measures of mental health and emotional wellness were generally sustained in the 6-month follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: This study supports the use of an online multimodal lifestyle intervention combining strategies from Lifestyle Medicine and Positive Psychology for the promotion of mental health and emotional wellness among normal populations (i.e. primary prevention). Further analyses will examine the impact of the intervention on subnormal populations to assess its potential role in secondary and tertiary prevention.

Comments

Used by permission: the author(s).

At the time of writing Geraldine Przybylko was affiliated with the South Pacific Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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