The efficacy of an introductory health/wellness course in positively changing wellness behaviors.

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Murray, Steven
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Middle Tennessee State University
Courses that emphasize lifestyle changes to promote health and wellness are plentiful in higher education today. However, the effectiveness of these courses is unknown. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of an introductory health/wellness course in producing positive changes in the wellness behaviors of the students enrolled. Subjects consisted of 860 undergraduate students enrolled in either a college health/wellness course (Treatment group, n = 803) or an English general studies course (Control group, n = 57). All subjects were pre- and posttested using {dollar}Testwell\sp\circler{dollar}: Wellness Inventory--College Edition during the first two weeks and last week of the semester, respectively. The testing instrument assessed six dimensions of wellness: physical, social, emotional, intellectual, occupational, and spiritual. A two-factor (group by time) ANOVA was used to determine statistical differences at the 0.05 level of probability between the pre- and posttest scores with respect to each dimension and the total wellness score. Statistical differences were noted in the physical ({dollar}p less than 0.0001{dollar}), social ({dollar}p less than 0.0001{dollar}), and spiritual ({dollar}p less than 0.02{dollar}) dimensions as well as the total wellness score ({dollar}p less than 0.0001{dollar}) for the treatment group and not the control group. Therefore, the course was deemed to be effective in inducing positive changes in the enrolled students' wellness behaviors.