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

Pro-Change Receives Funding to Develop a Lupus Self-Management Program

Pro-Change is pleased to announce that it is kicking off year two of its work with the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) to develop an innovative self-management program for adults with lupus. Lupus is a devastating and life-changing autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs) and currently has no cure. In the United States, lupus is two to three times more prevalent in African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders than among Caucasians.

Building on a comprehensive program of primary and secondary research conducted last year, Pro-Change is working with the LFA to develop an interactive, online self-management program that delivers tailored behavior change messaging to promote key behaviors associated with successful lupus self-management and patient activation. The funding was made possible via LFA’s cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Program development is being informed by extensive input from key stakeholders, including adults with lupus, subject matter experts, clinicians, cultural experts, and experts in engagement with digital health interventions. The program will take into account the unique needs of individuals from the racial and ethnic groups disproportionately affected by lupus.

Pro-Change’s Chief Science Officer and Project Lead Dr. Deborah Levesque notes, “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our work with the Lupus Foundation of America to develop an online program that builds on our extensive formative research to help individuals with lupus who are seeking information, guidance, and tools matched to their needs as they work to manage this complex disease.”

New Feature Added to the Health Risk Intervention Addresses Social Media Use and Digital Addiction

It seems digital device use has seeped into every aspect of our lives. Did you know that 35% of mobile phone users check their phone within 5 minutes of waking? And while the use of digital devices and social media can help streamline our days and help us stay connected to others, using smartphones can be disruptive at work and can be destructive to relationships at home. Too much screen time can lead to health problems such as disturbed sleep, reduced exercise; and increased loneliness, anxiety, and depression.

Pro-Change is tackling this issue by adding a feature to the Health Risk Intervention (HRI) that includes assessment and individualized feedback about social media use and key indicators of high levels of digital device use. This feature can be turned on and off by organizations who license our HRI.

“Technology has often been designed to make it irresistible. But what impact does that have on our lives and our companies?” asked Kerry E. Evers, Ph.D., Co-President and CEO. “Pro-Change has spent years helping people improve their physical, emotional, and financial well-being. Now it’s time to turn our attention to digital well-being.”

Pro-Change adds SDOH screening and feedback to HRI

In the most recent release of Pro-Change’s Health Risk Intervention (HRI), clients and partners now have the ability to enable a screener for key health-related social needs that play a significant role in determining health outcomes.

Increasingly, organizations such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) are advocating for addressing Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). In fact, RWJF reports that as much as 40% of health outcomes are attributable to unmet social and economic needs. Unfortunately, however, these factors are often largely unaddressed in worksite health promotion programs or clinical settings.

The optional screener in Pro-Change’s Health Risk Intervention includes ten items that assess core unmet social needs, such as housing, food, transportation, and personal safety. The questions were explicitly selected because they are validated assessments of social needs* that can be addressed at least in part by community services. Any affirmative response triggers feedback that refers the respondent to vetted local community resources, as well as suggesting they speak with a healthcare provider, social worker, or community health worker.

“We have a long-track record of successfully promoting population health,” said Dr. Sara Johnson, Co-President and CEO of Pro-Change. The addition of this optional screener for Social Determinants of Health and the ability to provide referrals to local community resources is another crucial piece of the comprehensive solution for health systems and employers. We stand firm in our commitment to advance health equity.”

*With thanks to the AAFP EveryONE Project

Pro-Change Receives $1.77 Million Research Grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Nearly 22 million Americans age 12 and older (8.1%) need treatment for a substance use disorder. While only 10%-11% of individuals requiring treatment receive it, an estimated two-thirds see a primary care or urgent care provider every 6 months. Primary care providers are in a unique position to identify and intervene on substance use disorders.

Pro-Change Behavior Systems is pleased to announce that Dr. Deborah Levesque, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, was just awarded a $1.77 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to continue her prior NIDA-funded work.

The grant will enable Pro-Change to complete development of and test a mobile-delivered intervention designed to reduce barriers to screening, brief intervention, and referral for treatment (SBIRT) in primary care by delivering universal screening and feedback on substance use risk to patients at home or in the practice.

Two integrated interfaces are being developed. For patients at risk, the program delivers a brief intervention based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (TTM) to facilitate progress through the stages of change for quitting their most problematic drug, and for seeking treatment, if indicated. The solution also includes stage-matched text messages and online activities addressing key topics (e.g., managing cravings). For providers, the intervention includes a Clinical Dashboard that summarizes the patient’s substance use risk scores and stage of change data, and provides stage-matched scripts and action steps to guide a brief in-person intervention session. The program will be integrated in the electronic health record at the implementation sites and monitor patient follow-through.

The research will be conducted in two phases. In Phase I, the mobile tools will be integrated into the clinical practice and electronic health record of a federally qualified health center (FQHC). Phase II will involve a cluster-randomized trial among 1300 patients recruited by 20 FQHCs sites randomly assigned to the intervention or usual care.

The work is now underway.

This research is funded by grant #R44DA044840 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Pro-Change Teams Up with Spectrum Health to Combat Tobacco & E-Cigarette Use

Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. announced today that Spectrum Health is offering its recently released Tobacco Cessation program for all tobacco and e-cigarette users in primary care and cardiology practices.

Spectrum Health, an integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of their communities. Their talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, 225 ambulatory sites, and telehealth offerings. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.

The Tobacco Cessation program leverages Pro-Change’s innovative and data-driven tailoring technology to customize behavior change guidance for each participant. Ready or not to quit, program participants receive feedback, interactive activities, and text messages specifically matched to their readiness to stop using all forms of tobacco and e-cigarettes. Like Pro-Change’s other award-winning behavior change programs, the proven-effective Tobacco Cessation program is available in English and in Spanish from any internet-enabled computer or mobile device.

Providers at participating practices recommend Pro-Change’s tobacco cessation program to patients who report tobacco use. In addition to promotional materials outlining the benefits of participating in the program, Spectrum has developed videos for patients and clinicians and is enabling patients to register during their visit to facilitate engagement.

“Spectrum Health is leveraging innovative technology platforms to ensure that they can successfully engage all members of the healthcare team in innovative population-based solutions for tobacco and e-cigarette use,” said Dr. Sara Johnson, co-President and CEO of Pro-Change. “We’re looking forward to a long and successful collaboration to scale this solution within their health system.”

Drs. Evers & Johnson Receive HERO’s Mark Dundon Research Award

At the recent Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Forum, Dr. Kerry Evers and Dr. Sara Johnson were named the 2018 recipients of The Mark Dundon Research Award as part of the presentation of the 2018 HERO Health and Well-Being Awards.

As co-CEOs and Presidents of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc., it makes sense that Dr. Sara Johnson and Dr. Kerry Evers would be the first co-recipients of the Mark Dundon Research Award. Both are well known for their expertise on theory-driven approaches to health behavior change, for implementing evidence-based behavior change strategies, and for identifying methods for increasing program impact. They have dedicated their careers to research on and the dissemination of best practices in behavior change to advance population health and well-being. Together, they have overseen millions of dollars in research grants from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research in diverse populations that addresses a variety of behavior change challenges, such as substance use prevention among active military and veterans and chronic pain self-management. This award is a clear reflection of Pro-Change’s commitment to ground-breaking research to drive innovation in the science and practice of behavior change.

“As the field of workplace health and well-being continues to evolve, we need leaders working to advance the field, improve our understanding, and increase adoption of best practices,” said Paul Terry, president and CEO, HERO. “The collective work and collaborative approach that Kerry and Sara bring to population health research has contributed greatly to the evolution of our knowledge of behavior change and well-being.”

“This award is an incredible honor, said Dr. Kerry Evers. But it is made even more special to be awarded it with Sara, as we have grown in this field alongside each other through graduate school, our early career, and now as a team leading Pro-Change. To have our partnership recognized with such a prestigious award is an extraordinary moment in our careers!”

“We are honored and humbled to be following in the footsteps of the previous Mark Dundon award-winners,” said Dr. Sara Johnson. “And we are very grateful to our colleagues at Pro-Change for contributing so significantly to the success of our organization’s research. This is truly a recognition for our whole team!”

How can Pro-Change’s Responsible Drinking program meet your population’s needs?

Pro-Change is proud to announce the positive outcomes from a rigorous 18-month clinical trial of Pro-Change’s Responsible Drinking program that was conducted as part of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The Responsible Drinking program is a mobile optimized, stage-tailored behavior change program designed for adults who exceed low-risk drinking guidelines. Those guidelines for men 65 and under are no more than 14 drinks per week or more than 4 in a day; and for men over 65 and all women no more than 7 drinks per week or more than 3 in a day.

In a randomized trial of nearly 1000 employed risky drinkers, participants receiving the Responsible Drinking program were significantly more likely than control participants to have reduced their drinking to low-risk limits at 18 months follow-up. They were also drinking significantly fewer drinks per week and scored higher on measures of productivity and well-being. Participants in the treatment group rated the program very positively, with over 90% of program users saying they would recommend the program to someone else, that they learned new information, and that it helped them to make changes.

The Responsible Drinking program, which has now been added to Pro-Change’s award-winning LifeStyle Management Suite, consists of 1) an online computer tailored intervention (CTI) sessions with questions and feedback tailored to each individual’s needs, 2) web activities matched to an individual’s readiness to change (e.g. goal setting, cost and calorie counters, ways to get supports, stress management techniques), and 3) tailored text messages.

Send us a message if you’d like more information about the program or would like a demo.

Acknowledgement: The development of the Responsible Drinking program was supported by Grants #R43 AA017333 and #R44 AA017333 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

Stage-matched guidance at your fingertips!

Clinicians now able to assess stage of change in seconds!

Pro-Change’s revolutionary Clinical Dashboard now offers clinicians, care coordinators, and health coaches the ability to assess stage of change for a variety of health risks or health behaviors and provide patients with brief, real-time, tailored, evidence-based behavior change tips based on the patient’s readiness to change. The dashboard was designed to help clinicians engage their patients and guide them toward healthier lifestyles. With the new Stage-on-Demand (SOD) capability, the dashboard is optimized to do just that!

The dashboard was historically used in conjunction with Pro-Change’s Health Risk Intervention (HRI), providing clinicians an overall view of a patient’s self-reported health status, as well as a behavior change profile and priorities on a single screen. Now with SOD, the dashboard can be used with or without the HRI.

So how does Stage-on-Demand work?

When a clinician, care coordinator, or health coach pulls up a patient’s dashboard, they see a list of lifestyle behaviors on the interactive display. Simply clicking on a behavior will surface Pro-Change’s validated stage assessment for that behavior, allowing the clinician to quickly and accurately assess stage of change. Once the patient responds, his or her stage of change will be plotted on the behavior change profile, and a brief intervention tip specifically designed to engage the patient in the behavior change process will be dynamically populated into the interface. The decision rules that determine which intervention tips are provided are based on rigorous data analytics and robust behavior change theory, ensuring that health professionals are always delivering the right behavior change feedback at the right moment. Additionally, the dashboard allows clinicians to prescribe Pro-Change’s LifeStyle Management Programs for the patient to work on between visits.

“The Stage-on-Demand feature definitely helps guide you through a change-focused conversation with your patient,” shared a health coach from Healthstat, Inc., one of Pro-Change’s premier partners. She continues, “As a provider, I like that it quickly gives me the exact information I need, so that I can spend time addressing my patient based on the stage they are in during our visit, rather than having to spend half of our time together investigating (or guessing) where they might be or basing our coaching conversation on answers from a health survey that they did months ago. It allows us to focus on what’s relevant to the patient, at that exact moment.”


Send us a message if you’d like more information, or to see a demo of any of Pro-Change’s well-being solutions, including Stage-On-Demand and the Clinical Dashboard.

Managers on the Move Webinar  

Don’t miss the Managers on the Move Webinar!  March 6 @ 1:00 pm

Dr. Sara Johnson, Co-President and CEO of Pro-Change, will join Laura Putnam, CEO of Motion Infusion, and Crockett Dale, CEO of Healthstat, in an Integrated Benefits Institute-sponsored webinar entitled “Managers on the Move: Why Managers Hold the Key to Better Well-Being at Work”on Tuesday, March 6th at 1 pm ET.

For more details, please visit: http://bit.ly/2EVWS4S.

Pro-Change receives SBIR Grant to Develop Pain Self-Management App for Veterans

Pro-Change was recently awarded a Phase II SBIR by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)1 to develop a mobile app to promote the adoption of self-management strategies for chronic pain. The app will provide tailored behavior change guidance based on each Veteran’s readiness to self-manage pain and his or her preference for pain self-management strategies. In addition, it will address stress management and healthy sleep habits. The development process will involve input from several stakeholders and a number of end users to maximize usability. A 12-month randomized controlled trial will then be conducted to examine the effectiveness of the app.

Pro-Change’s work in this area began with Phase I funding from the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences2. The promising results of that preliminary work were recently published in The Journal for Medical Informatics.

“There has never been a more important time to be promoting self-management of chronic pain” notes Dr. Johnson. “We are very grateful to NCCIH for their support and are honored to be working to address a critical need for our nation’s Veterans.”

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