A Holistic Wellness Program for Low-Income Women: A Pilot Study

Friday, 28 July 2017

Debra Henline Sullivan, PhD, MSN
Nursing, Walden University, Readyville, TN, USA
Deborah Weatherspoon, PhD, MSN
Nursing, Walden University, Gallatin, TN, USA


It is well documented that the health of women in the United States (US) is declining primarily due to the high rates of obesity and sedentary lifestyle. In 2014, 66.2% of women in the US were overweight or obese and 38.1 obese (Center for Disease Prevention and Control [CDC], 2015b). These women are also inactive, with only 50% of the population participating in leisure-time and muscle-strengthening activities. Obesity and inactivity are known causes for chronic disease and premature death (Booth, Roberts, & Laye, 2012). Another complication is that low-income women are less likely to have resources to combat obesity and inactivity consequently; we see high rates of obesity in the population (CDC, 2015b).

The state of Tennessee (TN) ranks as the ninth highest adult obesity rate in the nation with 32% of women falling in the obesity range in 2012 (Segal, Rayburn, & Martin, 2016). Adult Blacks rank the highest in TN with 43% of the population, making it 4th in the nation. Latinos were 27.6% ranking 40th in the nation and whites were 31.5% and 7th in the nation (Segal et al., 2016). Higher rates of overweight and obesity are correlated with low-income adults in TN (Tennessee Department of Health, 2010)

Due to this serious health problem in TN, a holistic health program was developed to offer low-income women the opportunity to receive lifestyle coaching. Coaching in nutrition, exercise, and empowerment are offered through a scholarship program. Each year 350 women receive these scholarships.

A holistic wellness program has produced excellent results with positive health outcomes, and offers a wealth of information for further study. Participants have decreased diabetic and high blood pressure medications, controlled eating, and increased overall health and vitality (The New Beginnings Center, n.d.).

 The purpose of this poster is to outline a pilot study to look at the progress of this unique program to determine if positive health outcomes of the program could be applied to a larger community population, which could be managed by nurses.


 A pilot study is designed to research the correlations in participant outcomes.


 Results are not complete as of this date.


Conclusions have not been drawn as of this date.