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


liveWell: A Healthy Foundation for Life

The University of Rhode Island and the University of Florida are collaborating with Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc. in research to test an Internet program that promotes healthy lifestyles in order to prevent chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. The research is funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

The liveWell program has been designed specifically for college students by a multi-disciplinary team from Pro-Change, a behavior change research and development company located on the University of Rhode Island campus. All of Pro-Change’s programs are based on the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change (Stages of Change Model). Click here for more information.

Pro-Change programs are:

  • Built on over 30 years of research
  • Based on evidence from large, randomized clinical trials that demonstrate that individuals change by progressing through stages
  • Matched to the needs of all participants, not only the small minority ready to make behavior changes
  • Developed by leaders in the field of health behavior change including psychologists, public health and education specialists.

Please be assured that students are not being invited to participate in this project because of any known risk of developing a chronic disease. A total of 1680 from both universities are being invited to participate in the research program. The research procedure has been carefully reviewed to ensure it is ethical.

All students will receive class credit for their participation. Students will answer questions about healthy diet, exercise, and stress management 2-3 times over the course of the semester and have access to a website that provides additional guidance on healthy lifestyles. Each session will last approximately 20-30 minutes.

Six and twelve months later, students will be asked to complete follow-up assessments for which they will receive $10 and $15 respectively. In addition, about 168 participants at the University of Rhode Island will be selected at random and asked to wear an accelerometer (a small device worn on the waist) to measure their physical activity at four time points throughout the study. These participants will each receive $20 for each timepoint at which they wear the accelerometer for 7 days in a row and return it. There will be no cost to the students (or to the University) except the time spent participating in the research.

Here are 2 sample questions students will be asked to answer:

Sample 1:

Moderate exercise includes activities that are not exhausting and cause light sweating.  For example, fast walking, baseball, tennis, easy bicycling, volleyball, badminton, easy swimming, alpine skiing, popular and folk dancing.

Considering a typical week, how many times on average did you do moderate exercise for more than 20 minutes during your free time?  Answers choices  range from 0-17

Sample 2:

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that adults eat at least a total of 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Do you eat at least 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables per day? (A cup is equal to 1 cup 100% fruit or vegetable juice, 1 cup cooked vegetables, 2 cups raw leafy vegetables, 1 piece of fruit, or ½ cup dried fruit.)

No, and I do not intend to in the next 6 months
No, but I intend to in the next 6 months
No, but I intend to in the next 30 days
Yes, I have been, but for less than 6 months
Yes, I have been for more than 6 months

Since students will be participating in a trial program addressing health behaviors, they may learn and benefit personally from this experience. If any concerns arise, college personnel will be available to address them. Student participation in this project is completely voluntary. A student may choose not to participate at any time and his or her status with the University or class faculty will not be affected in any way. In that case, he or she will be offered an alternative assignment of equal time and credit.

Please also be assured that all information a student provides will be protected. No names will be saved, stored, or linked with answers given in the questionnaires. Your child’s individual information will not be shared with the University or any other agency or organization. Research summaries will be presented in aggregate form only.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about this project, you may contact Sara Johnson or Lynne Broderick at 1-877-263-2698 (toll free), or via email at sjohnson@prochange.com or lbroderick@prochange.com.

This research study has been reviewed by the University Institutional Review Board (IRB02 Office), University of Florida and the University of Rhode Island (site of Pro-change Behavior Systems) Institutional Review Board.

For research-related problems or questions regarding subjects’ rights, you can contact chair/director of the Behavioral and Social Sciences Institutional Review Board at (umcirb@ecu.edu), or you may contact the IRB02 Office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL, (352)-392-0433.