Application and analysis of a tailored stress management intervention in a college population
Rachel Lea Abbott, The University of Alabama, United States
The University of Alabama . Awarded
The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to examine the process of integrating a tailored stress management intervention into an undergraduate personal health course, and (2) to assess the impact of the stress management intervention on changing intentions and awareness of stress management coping skills. Participants (N=375) were recruited from five of The University of Alabama's Personal Health classes in the spring of 2003. The Health Media ® Relax TM intervention was implemented in the two experimental classes while the remaining three served as the control group. A tailored stress management survey was used to measure change in behavioral intentions, awareness of positive coping skills, and satisfaction with the tailored messaging intervention.
A repeated 2x2 ANOVA compared pretest and posttest factors between the experimental and control groups. At baseline, no difference between experimental and control groups were found for the factors attempt to change in the past 5 weeks; intentions to change in the next 6 months, and awareness of positive coping stress management skills were similar. Results indicated that the integration of the tailored messaging into the personal health course found undergraduate students are willing to participate in a web-based tailored messaging program. The intervention was viewed as favorable by students in terms of being easy to use and personally relevant to their stress management behaviors. Although there were modest trends favoring the experimental group, analyses yielded significant differences in intentions to change and knowledge of positive stress management coping techniques. Attempts to change in the past 5 weeks proved non-significant between groups.
Computer tailored messages have shown promising results in changing health knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors over the past decade. This study supports other previous findings that are more effective than non-tailored or generic materials. Future research should be aimed at addressing long term effects and the practicability issues of using tailored messaging interventions via the internet.
Abbott, R.L. Application and analysis of a tailored stress management intervention in a college population. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Alabama.
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