An Evaluation of Army Wellness Center Clients' Health-Related Outcomes
Journal Article - Open Access
U.S. Army Public Health Center Aberdeen Proving Ground United States
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Purpose To examine whether Army community members participating in a best-practice based workplace health promotion program WHPP experience goal-moderated improvements in health-related outcomes. Design Pretestposttest outcome evaluation examining an autonomously participating client cohort over 1 year. Setting Army Wellness Center facilities on 19 Army installations. Participants Army community members sample N 5703, mostly Active Duty Soldiers 64 . Intervention Assessment of health risks with feedback, health assessments, health education classes, and health coaching sessions conducted by health educators at a recommended frequency of once a month for 3 to 12 months. Measures Initial and follow-up outcome assessments of body mass index BMI, body fat, cardiorespiratory fitness, blood pressure, and perceived stress. Analysis Mixed model linear regression testing for goal-moderated improvements in outcomes. Results Clients experienced significant improvements in body fat 2 change, perceived stress 6 to 12 change, cardiorespiratory fitness 6 change, and blood pressure 1 change regardless of health-related goal. Only clients with a weight loss goal experienced BMI improvement 1 change. Follow-up outcome assessment rates ranged from 44 N 2509 for BMI to 6 N 342 for perceived stress. Conclusion Army Wellness Center clients with at least 1 follow-up outcome assessment experienced improvements in military readiness correlates and chronic disease risk factors. Evaluation design and follow-up-related limitations notwithstanding results suggest that best practices in WHPPs can effectively serve a globally distributed military force.