Effects of a Collegiate Employee Wellness Program on Participant Perceived Wellness and the Transtheoretical Model of Change: Voices of Participants

Amy Jeanette Rogers


With rising costs of healthcare, due to high counts of obesity and chronic diseases, employers are exploring ways to have healthier and more productive employees by implementing wellness programs. Previous studies conducted on wellness programs and physical activity interventions took place at worksites, in the general public or at four-year universities (Butler, Clark, Brulis, Castillo, & Racette, 2015; Haines, et al., 2007; Rongen, et al., 2014a). These intervention programs focused primarily on the physical dimension of wellness to the exclusion of the other dimensions. The purpose of this mixed methods wellness program study was to investigate the effects of an employee wellness program: (1) on perceived wellness, (2) on the constructs of the Transtheoretical Model of Change (TTM), and (3) to examine employee perceptions of the wellness program through a mediated platform. Seventy-five fairly active healthy males (32%) and females (68%) predominately Caucasian (79%) faculty and staff of a community college in the south completed Perceived Wellness, Stages of Change, Self-Efficacy, Decisional Balance and Processes to open ended questions prior to the start of the program and completed weekly journal entries during the program 12-week wellness intervention. Three repeated measures Analysis of Variance (ANOVAs) were used to determine if there were significant differences in the constructs of TTM (self-efficacy, decisional balance, and processes of change). A paired samples t test was used to determine if there was a significant difference in pre and post composite scores for perceived wellness. A one-sample t test was used to determine mean change in stage of the change to a pre-intervention value of “0” which indicated a significant change in stage. Results showed significant changes in perceived wellness and the TTM constructs of processes of change and the stages of change. Data triangulation was accomplished through five separate assessments of content from four qualitative data sources: (1) open-ended questions in pre surveys, (2) journal entries, (3) semi-structured interviews, and (4) focus groups. This study indicated a stage-matched intervention using TTM constructs delivered virtually effectively improved physical activity in a community college setting. Rich qualitative data shed light on participant perceptions pre, during and post wellness program highlighting the importance of social accountability in a wellness program.