Evidence-based health and well-being for entire populations.

Pro-Change to Develop Bilingual Two-Way Text Messaging Program to Increase Engagement with the Diabetes Prevention Program

Pro-Change has received a two-year contract from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and pilot a personalized, two-way text messaging program to combat the impact of the growing diabetes epidemic. The bilingual program will be offered in both English and Spanish and is designed to increase engagement in the CDC’s Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). More than 88 million Americans (34.5%) have prediabetes and over 80% of them are not aware that they do.

Combining technology, behavior change theory, and participatory design approaches, Pro-Change will develop, deploy, and evaluate a text-message delivered, tailored behavior change program designed to:

  1. Increase readiness to engage in key diabetes prevention behaviors among persons living with prediabetes or those at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes;
  2. Address unmet social needs by boosting engagement in community health services;
  3. Increase individuals readiness to enroll in the DPP; and
  4. Expand enrollment in the DPP

In collaboration with a diverse array of community stakeholders, health care providers, and end users, Pro-Change will conduct a statewide pilot study in Rhode Island in 2022.

“This population-based text messaging program has the potential to provide a scalable solution for enhancing health and well-being, identifying risk of prediabetes, and increasing readiness to enroll in the evidence-based DPP,” said Dr. Sara S. Johnson, Co-President and Co-CEO of Pro-Change and the study’s principal investigator. “This work will also reduce barriers to engagement by assessing and providing localized resources to address and reduce unmet social needs. Given the extensive end-user and community stakeholder input we will obtain, this research could also provide critical insights to inform other engagement solutions. We are grateful to the CDC for supporting this work.”

This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (Contract # 75D30121C11279). The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government.

In Other News…

Pro-Change recently deployed TakeControl, a free, personalized, two-way text messaging program for people with asthma.  It is designed to assist users in working with their health care providers to ensure that they can live their lives as if they don’t have asthma. Please feel free to share it with individuals with asthma who may be interested.

Users can check it out by texting CONTROL to 401-234-0883.

Reset, Rethink & Reconnect for Higher Resilience

Resilience is a buzzword lately—and with good reason. Individuals with higher resilience are 4 times more likely to have excellent physical and mental health, 65% less likely to experience productivity loss, and 79% less likely to be depressed. The key question is how we can help individuals and organizations build resilience to bounce back in the face of adversity.

“Many people believe that you are either resilient or not, but the truth is that it is a skill that can be built and developed over time,” stated Dr. Kerry Evers, Pro-Change Co-President & CEO. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive resilience-boosting solution, Pro-Change applied decades of behavior change science and expertise to develop two innovative, off-the shelf programs:

 an innovative two-way text messaging based solution  an end-to-end digital solution with on-demand reporting      

Guided by insights from the Resilience Evaluation Measure©, Pro-Change’s innovative and validated assessment of resilience, the recharge solutions are designed to boost participants’ resilience by helping them reset their life’s meaning and purpose, rethink their mindset, and reconnect through strong social connections. The recharge solutions provide continuous tailored communications informed by behavior change science. Users receive individualized feedback on their level of resilience as well as skills they can develop to build resilience. Ongoing assessments capture improvements over time and continually tailor the experience to users’ needs.

Are you interested in how you can help your population reset, rethink, and reconnect?

Introducing the Resilience Evaluation Measure

Ready to Bounce Back? Find out with the Resilience Evaluation Measure©

Brief, valid assessments are critical for the successful implementation of behavior change solutions. They provide the necessary building blocks to appropriately tailor messaging and allow us to consistently track impact over time.

Pro-Change recently developed and validated its Resilience Evaluation Measure© (REM), a 9-item survey that assesses three key drivers of resilience: mindset, meaning, and social connection. Building on this effort, they also developed a 3-item resilience screener (REM-3). The measures, which are at the core of recharge & recharge+, Pro-Change’s newly developed resilience-boosting solutions, enable the provision of individually tailored feedback and the ability to demonstrate improvements in resilience over time.

Dr. Kerry Evers, Pro-Change’s Co-President & CEO, will be describing the REM at the upcoming Health Enhancement Research Organization Forum in Austin, TX on October 13th. For more information on the 2021 Forum, please visit: https://forum.hero-health.org/

Resilience

An ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change– Merriam-Webster

The process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats, or significant sources of stress– American Psychology Association

Pro-Change Tapped by Med-IQ to Develop Two-Way SMS Program for Severe Asthma

Pro-Change was recently selected by Med-IQ,  an award-winning accredited medical education provider, to create an innovative two-way text messaging communication campaign for individuals with severe uncontrolled asthma. 

Uncontrolled asthma is expected to be associated with health care costs of more than $300 billion and a loss of 15 million quality-adjusted life years over the next 20 years in the U.S. 

Med-IQ is tackling this urgent problem with a novel educational initiative that involves pairing social media influencers with asthma experts to reach a broader audience of individuals affected by severe uncontrolled asthma. Using a mix of social media platforms, including a series of live events on Instagram and a Facebook webcast recording, participants will be invited to enroll in the two-way texting program for up to six months. The program is designed to increase readiness to collaborate with one’s health care providers to better manage their condition. Pro-Change will leverage best practices in behavior change science to design and deliver tailored behavior change nudges to individuals based on their current level of asthma control and their readiness to share in decision-making with their clinicians and adhere to their treatment plan. The customized text messages will be dynamically re-tailored over time as individuals progress on their journey to better asthma control. 

“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the Med-IQ team and applaud their forward-thinking and creative approach to medical and patient education,” said Dr. Sara S. Johnson, Co-President and CEO of Pro-Change. “Given that some estimates indicate that 99% of text messages are opened and as many as 95% are read within three minutes, text messaging represents a unique opportunity to maximize the impact of tailored micro-motivational messages that promote enhanced doctor-patient communication and adherence.”

Pro-Change Awarded Grant to Develop Tobacco App Integrated with Electronic Health Records

Pro-Change was recently awarded a grant from the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to transform its existing digital Tobacco Cessation solution into a HealthKit-enabled app integrated into electronic health records (EHR). The app will leverage Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standards to:

  1. Implement a full range of best practices in tailored health behavior change nudges;
  2. Deliver hyper-personalized behavior change guidance based on Apple’s HealthKit data regarding medical history and conditions; and
  3. Automatically provide key actionable insights to the EHR with micro-messages clinicians can deliver to accelerate a patient’s behavior change progress.

The interoperability of this digital therapeutic for tobacco cessation will provide value to both patients and clinicians; empower and support lasting behavior change; and enable the implementation and evaluation of a best-in-class approach to tobacco treatment by removing barriers to accessing data-driven insights at the point of care. This is especially important as tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., contributing to more than 480,000 premature deaths annually.

Like Pro-Change’s existing evidence-based, mobile-optimized Tobacco Cessation solution, the app will address combustible cigarette smoking, smokeless tobacco, and electronic nicotine delivery systems (e-cigarettes or vapes).

“This app will facilitate the successful implementation of digital, tailored tobacco cessation interventions in clinical settings,” said Dr. Sara S. Johnson, Co-President and CEO of Pro-Change and the study’s principal investigator. “Given the extensive end-user input we will obtain, this research could also provide critical insights to inform care models using patient-generated health data for other health behavior apps. We’re looking forward to leveraging interoperability standards to provide critical lifestyle medicine insights to clinicians in a readily accessible format.”

This research is supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43HL156588. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Health Coaches Can Earn Continuing Education Credits for Pro-Change’s Online Training

Pro-Change has taken another step forward with our online course, Become an Agent of Change: Applying the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change. Upon completing the course, health coaches can now earn 2 hours of continuing education (CEs) from the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC CEP #100197). So now’s the time to learn more about the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (a.k.a. the stages of change model) and how to effectively apply it when working with clients and patients to promote successful behavior change!

And now for the next step…in the future, we plan to offer CEs for taking the online course for other disciplines as well. Are there areas for which you might be seeking CEs? If so, let us know at training@prochange.com.

Learn More About Pro-Change’s Online Training

In Other News…

Pro-Change Behavior Systems Inc. is proud to have been named a Top Vendor in Health Assessments by Shortlister for the first quarter of 2021. Pro-Change was selected based upon its business performance, market presence, company size and stability. 

Johnson’s Editorial on Racial Equity Named Paper of the Year

Pro-Change’s Co-President and CEO, Dr. Sara Johnson, was honored that her recent editorialEquity, Justice, and the Role of the Health Promotion Profession in Dismantling Systemic Racism,” was named “Paper of the Year” by the American Journal of Health Promotion.

This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children. It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. — Dr. Martin Luther King

In the editorial, Johnson tackles the complex issue of addressing systemic racism. She examines a variety of issues including the racism BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) face in their places of work, the growing income inequality that disproportionately affects black and brown communities, and how the COVID-19 crisis has compounded those issues. Recognizing that racism is a public health issue, Johnson outlines some preliminary steps individuals and organizations can take to be true allies and to continually strive to be anti-racist. Like many other organizations, Pro-Change is making a concerted effort to make progress on its anti-racist journey.

As Johnson wrote, “Together, we can create an equitable and racially just future where everyone can thrive. Now is the time.”

Lifestyle for Small Business

Award-winning, affordable, programs for all

As a small business itself, Pro-Change recognizes the unique challenges smaller organizations face in ensuring the well-being of their employees, clients, and partners. For this reason, we created an offering specifically tailored to the needs of small businesses. Lifestyle for Small Business offers unlimited usage of Pro-Change’s most popular, science-backed online behavior change programs for a single annual fee.


Lifestyle for Small Business also includes our most popular features—Social Login and text-messages that provide micro-motivational nudges—at no additional cost.

Also included is on-demand aggregate reporting so small business owners can track their organization’s behavior changes and health improvements over time.

For more information and purchasing info: https://www.prochange.com/lifestyle-purchasing-and-use-agreement

Staying Resilient in a Stressful Election Season

Regardless of their political affiliations, feeling anxious and stressed over elections is nothing new to Americans. In 2016, Washington-based therapist Dr. Steven Stonsy coined the term “Election Stress Disorder” to describe the rise in irritability, resentment, anxiety, and sense of powerlessness people feel in the weeks and months surrounding an election. Unfortunately, Election Stress Disorder seems to be at an all-time high, due in part to the rise in smartphone usage, the prevalence of social media in everyday life, and the 24-hour news cycle. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce and manage election stress!

Two key elements of coping with Election Stress Disorder and staying resilient are maintaining your social connections and practicing mindfulness. According to Dr. Stonsy, “The best antidote is connection” and “Underlying all of that (anxiety) is powerlessness.… The rule (for enhancing) power is focus.”

If you find yourself getting stressed and anxious over the election, try reaching out to those around you, either via a socially-distanced meet-up, a Zoom call, or even just a quick phone call or text. Try giving those in your social bubble a hug or telling a friend you appreciate them. And while the quality of your social connections matter more than the quantity, activities such as volunteering can be a great way to expand your network with the added benefit of helping others! You may even be able to volunteer at your local polling place!

You can also practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment. Certain activities such as journaling, meditation, and yoga can help you achieve mindfulness. If you don’t have time for a structured mindful activity, take a moment, clear your mind, and turn your attention to your breathing. Do not think about the election, the future, or the “what ifs” in life. Our minds have a tendency to stray toward the negative but when you focus on the negative thoughts, you give those in your life more power than the positive thoughts. Take just a few moments each day to focus on and be grateful for whatever is right now.

And, of course, vote if you haven’t already!

Pro-Change Launches Updated Online Course

Are you interested in learning more about the Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Behavior Change (Stages of Change model) and how to apply it to both your work and personal life? Pro-Change’s new online course, Become an Agent of Change: Applying the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, provides individuals, coaches, and other health professionals with the basic concepts and strategies needed to effectively use the TTM when working with clients to promote successful behavior change.

By the end of the 2-hour course, you will be able to assess an individual’s stage of change and know which behavior change strategies to employ in order to assist people in moving to the next stage of change. The skills you will gain are applicable to any behavior, enabling you to work with entire populations regardless of their readiness to change.

After completing the course, recent users have called the online course “one of the best online trainings I’ve ever completed.” They have also said it is a “great course and easy to understand!”; is “clear and comprehensive”; “well planned and executed”; and that it “can be beneficial for my workplace and my personal life.”

What will YOU say about Pro-Change’s online course? Try the free preview today!

In Other News…

Check out the latest issue of The American Journal of Health Promotion for Dr. Sara Johnson’s editorial on “Equity, Justice, and the Role of the Health Promotion Profession in Dismantling Systemic Racism

This month’s issue also contains the latest issue of Knowing Well, Being Well on The Future of Work.