Determining the Level of Engagement in the Ohio State University Wellness Innovator Program

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Megan E. Amaya, PhD1
Leah Colleen Mitchell, MPH2
Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN1
Lauren Battista, MPH3
(1)College of Nursing, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
(2)College of Public Health, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
(3)College of Nursing, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

Background: A wellness champion team is an essential component of a worksite wellness program initiative. The role of the wellness champion team is to communicate, participate in, motivate colleagues, and support the worksite wellness program. Champions are often the “voice of the employee” for wellness offering considerations. However, very little is known about the impact and level of participant engagement of these teams. Developed 4 years ago under the direction of the University Chief Wellness Officer, the wellness team at a large academic institution in the United States includes 500 faculty/staff members who are Wellness Innovators from across the university. Methods: A pre-experimental, cross-sectional study design to study multiple variables in a single point in time. An anonymous 9-item survey was developed and administered to all participants in the Wellness Innovator program. Items were created based upon an extensive review of the literature. Analysis: Means of continuous variables (e.g., age) will be compared across groups using two-sample t-tests (engaged vs. less engaged Wellness Innovators). Chi-squared tests will be used to compare distributions of categorical variables (e.g., gender) across groups. If differences in demographics across groups are found, then linear and logistic regression models will be used to test for differences in manager support across the groups to control for demographic differences by including them as covariates in the models. Results: Survey items include questions about engagement and support of Wellness Innovators in their current role. To provide consistency, definitions of these terms are provided in the survey. Demographic information on participants will be presented, as well as current level of engagement in the program and perceived manager/supervisor support for their role in the program. Data will be presented on the following two research questions: 1) are there demographic differences among Wellness Innovators that are engaged and less engaged within the Wellness Innovator program? and 2) are there perceived differences in direct manager support among Wellness Innovators that are engaged and less engaged within the Wellness Innovator program? Conclusion: Measuring level of engagement of a worksite wellness team is vital to the longevity and support of the program. Although many worksite wellness programs employ wellness champion teams, the field as a whole has little understanding of how level of engagement and manager/supervisor support can influence the champion’s decision to remain committed to the wellness program. Implications exist for not only a worksite wellness program but for other environments where wellness champion teams exist, such as community health promotion efforts, medical centers, and patient advocacy populations.