177145 Enhancing wellness by yoga and meditation: Does cost determine program commitment?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Shveta Sanghani, PhD , Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Sanam Kazemi, BS, MPH , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Alexis Deavenport, MPH , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Stephanie Do, BS , Health Promotion & Education, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Patti Herring, PhD, RN , School of Public Health, Dept. Health Promotion & Ed, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Eric Anderson, PhD, MBA , Department of Health Administration, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
Throughout the United States, many adults suffer the effects of anxiety disorders, experiencing decreased functioning and efficiency. Research demonstrates that yogic postures as well as meditation and breathing may counteract stress and related mental disorders. Little research has been conducted, however, on the implications of charging participants from various socioeconomic backgrounds a fee to attend a wellness program compared to offering free attendance. To further examine the psychology of program attendance, a pilot program consisting of a 4-week yogic exercise routine was developed, implemented, and evaluated for effectiveness. A fee scale comparison was conducted among participants to determine if there was a difference in outcomes among those who attended free programs compared to those attending the fee-based programs. The Health Belief Model served as the theoretical framework. The proposed study was a cross-sectional, prospective study that examined the health beliefs, and exercise behaviors of 80 residents, ages 20-65 years, from Southern California. Process, impact, and outcome evaluations were conducted for program improvement and continuation. Participants in both groups attended a 4-week comprehensive yogic exercise program comprised of various postures, mediation, and breathing. During each session, pre- and post-tests were given to assess changes in anxiety, depression, energy level, cognitive disorganization, and chronic stress. These psychological variables were analyzed using the Wilcoxin Sign test. Program findings highlight the implications of yoga and meditation for decreasing daily stress and increasing work performance. In conclusion, preliminary data demonstrate promise for increasing participant attendance to wellness programs among participants from various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Identify three recommended yogic postures for increasing health. 2. State at least two reasons why wellness program participants may react differently to fee-based programs compared to free programs. 3. Learn about how to create a free wellness program in your workplace or university setting to relieve stress, cognitive disorganization, anxiety, depression, and increase energy level.

Keywords: Cost Issues, Stress

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a graduate student doing research in this area.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.