Meaning and Hope in Health Behavior Change: An Examination of Health Coaching for Individuals with Disabilities
Year of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Health and Human Performance (Community Health Option)
Department or School/College
College of Education and Human Sciences
Dr. Annie Sondag
Drs. Gene Burns, Craig Ravesloot, Rayna Sage
disability, meaning, hope, health coaching, health promotion, health-promoting behavior
University of Montana
Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion
Introduction:In an effort to expand the reach of health-promotion efforts for people with disabilities, a one-on-one health promotion intervention titled Health My Way was piloted. This intervention incorporated health coaching and health-promotion curriculum designed specifically for people with disabilities.
Purpose:The intervention was evaluated for its effects on health behavior change. Additionally, personal sense of meaning and hope were examined as potential mechanisms of influence in the hypothesized behavior change process.
Methodology:A convergent-parallel mixed-methods research design was used to examine the research questions. Pre- and post-intervention surveys were used to evaluate changes in levels of meaning, hope, and health behavior. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a subset of research participants to better understand the interactions among these variables.
Results: Survey responses were available for 39 participants, 12 of whom were interviewed. A main effect of the overall intervention was seen on physical activity. Additional effects on health responsibility, nutrition, and spiritual growth were seen for participants who engaged in relevant curriculum content. No mediational effects were found; however, correlations between pre- and post-test hope scores were low relative to the reliability of the measure, and a portion of the variance seen in physical activity change was associated with changes in hope. Qualitative analysis revealed both meaning and hope were important to health behavior change. The identification of sources of personal meaning was important to the identification of personally meaningful goals and for the initial motivation for health behavior change. Hope was an important component of sustained health behavior change. Increases in hope were seen in some participants, however most participants who achieved their goals or sustained health behavior change experienced an increased only the agency component of hope.
Conclusions: Individualized health coaching in the current study was found to be an effective method for improving health behavior in people with disabilities, with the strongest effects in the domain of physical activity. Within this process, personal sense of meaning and hope both
functioned as active components. The identification of personally meaningful goals and the generation and maintenance of hope appear to be vital to successful health behavior change via health coaching.
Standley, Krys, "Meaning and Hope in Health Behavior Change: An Examination of Health Coaching for Individuals with Disabilities" (2019). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11475.
Community Health and Preventive Medicine Commons, Public Health Education and Promotion Commons
© Copyright 2019 Krys Standley