Evidence of Cognitive-Behavioral Skill Use after a Physical and Mental Health Promotion Intervention (COPE for TEEN)

Tuesday, 10 November 2015: 10:20 AM

Stephanie A. Kelly, PhD, FNP-C
College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA

Background: COPE (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) Healthy Lifestyles TEEN (Thinking, Emotions, Exercise, Nutrition), a cognitive-behavioral skills building intervention, strives to develop lifelong healthy behaviors to enhance physical and mental health.  Healthy lifestyle behaviors are difficult to attain and sustain.  Evidence suggests behavior change may be sustainable when cognitive-behavioral skills are taught and used as the technique for change.  Such strategies include: goal setting, cognitive reframing, problem-solving, relaxation techniques, social interaction and communication skills, mood monitoring, emotional regulation, and self-regulation. 

Aims: The purposes of this presentation are: (a) to discuss cognitive-behavioral skills building as a technique for changing and sustaining healthy lifestyle behaviors to promote physical and mental health and (b) to describe evidence of use of cognitive-behavioral change strategies after a physical and mental health promotion intervention (COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN). 

Methods: COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN was a large multi-site blinded randomized controlled trial in the southwest United States with 790 teens.  For this analysis, post-intervention evaluation data of the COPE (intervention) group (n=318) was reviewed and analyzed.  Frequencies were measured for dichotomous outcomes.  String data was analyzed and categorized.

Results:  Self-report evaluation data indicated 184 (57.9%) teens had changed their behaviors as a result of the program at post-intervention.  Changes in behaviors were identified stemming from use of multiple cognitive-behavioral skills including positive thinking, setting goals, stress management, emotional regulation, communication and self-regulation.  Behaviors changed included healthier nutrition choices, more physical activity, enhance communication, and healthy coping strategies for stress and anger. 

Conclusions: The COPE Healthy Lifestyles TEEN intervention using cognitive-behavioral skills building techniques fostered healthy lifestyle behavior change in teens at post-intervention.  Teens utilized a variety of skills suggesting teaching many skills may be more beneficial than just including one or two skills in an intervention.  Interventions using cognitive-behavioral skills building techniques show great promise to assist teens in adopting healthy lifestyles.