- McGrady, Angele; Brennan, Julie; Lynch, Denis
- The objective of this research was to determine the effects of wellness programs on quality of life and utilization in an academic family medicine practice in two small controlled studies. One offered stress management and problem solving; the second offered a broader wellness intervention. Outcome measures consisted of scores on the Beck Anxiety Inventory, Hamilton Depression Inventory, CES-D (depression), Health Related Quality of Life, SF-12, and the number of office visits in 6 months. Subjects were randomly assigned to intervention or control groups. Statistical analysis compared pre-test and post-test values of the dependent variables between groups. In study one, where the focus was on relaxation, significant differences between groups were observed in anxiety at post-test (p < .03); the intervention group had lower anxiety levels. In study two which had a more general focus, significant group differences were found in days of poor mental health and number of days of depressed mood; the intervention group had fewer days of poor mental health (p < .05) and depression (p < .05) at post-test. No differences were found in utilization in either study. Based on the results of this research, short term wellness programs can be implemented in family practice and are effective in improving quality of life, but not in deceasing utilization in family practice patients. Matching the design of the program to specific patient needs may increase retention and effectiveness.
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