NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
The results of a new study released today by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine show the positive effects of an online social network based program in improving individual well-being. Findings from the randomized controlled trial demonstrate that Daily Challenge from MeYou Health (a subsidiary of Healthways (HWAY)) measurably improves the well-being of participants, particularly those who engage socially with other Daily Challenge participants.
The study evaluated Daily Challenge, an evidence-based social well-being intervention integrating behavior change and social networking science with gaming principles to drive engagement and meaningful individual behavior change. The Healthways Well-Being Assessment®, a clinically validated 100-point scale, was used to assess change in both the intervention and control groups.
At 90 days, Daily Challenge was effective in improving well-being by 2.35 points over control, while participants who engaged socially with other program participants showed a 55% greater improvement in well-being compared with program participants who did not form social ties.
Existing research shows a strong link between well-being, healthcare costs and performance measures. For example, each point of improvement in well-being equates to a 2.2% lower likelihood of hospital admission, a 1.7% lower likelihood of emergency room visits and 1% lower healthcare costs. In response, MeYou Health designed Daily Challenge from the ground up as a highly engaging, social well-being intervention that could leverage modern social network science and game design principles to impact well-being at a large population scale.
Noshir Contractor, Ph.D., the Jane S. & William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University, said, “Determining how online social networks can be used to drive improvement in health and well-being is critical for the evolution of next-generation behavioral health programs. The Daily Challenge findings show not only that it’s possible to build an effective social intervention for well-being but also that rapid, rigorous research to demonstrate effect is possible and should be expected of any online program.”
Nathan Cobb, M.D., chief medical officer for MeYou Health, led the randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial comparing the impact of Daily Challenge to a weekly email newsletter containing well-being stories. The trial was conducted primarily online with 1,503 participants recruited through Facebook. Individuals who clicked on a Facebook ad were taken to the Daily Challenge website, where they could sign up for the study using their Facebook credentials. The two-arm trial compared the intervention to the generic health newsletter control.
Daily Challenge’s small-step approach covers well-being activities spanning healthy eating, physical activity, stress management, financial planning and healthy relationships. As a web and mobile-based well-being intervention, Daily Challenge participants receive a daily email and text messages suggesting a small health action they can usually complete in a few minutes, along with information about how to complete the challenge and its relation to well-being. Participants are encouraged to recruit members of their social network and connect with them within Daily Challenge.
Dr. Cobb noted, “With Daily Challenge, we see long-term engagement approaching 70% at 90 days, so the effect found in this study has the potential to drive large-scale population impact. However, all interventions need to be pressure-tested by evidence-based science and continuously refined. This is the approach we take with Daily Challenge, and why it’s proven to be an effective, scalable solution to improve well-being, with significant potential to impact healthcare costs.”
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The full text of the manuscript is available online from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine’s website at: http://www.ajpmonline.org.
About MeYou Health and Daily Challenge
MeYou Health is a company dedicated to helping people pursue, achieve and maintain a more healthful life by improving their well-being every day. MeYou Health products feature compelling web and mobile experiences that encourage people to become mindful of small actions they can take every day to engage their body, mind and spirit. We also transform social networks into support systems, activating their potential to motivate and inspire. By engaging, educating and empowering people to make better choices, MeYou Health promotes personal growth and lasting change. Located in Boston, MeYou Health was founded in 2009 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Healthways.
Daily Challenge is a social well-being experience that allows people to improve their health in one small way each day. Participants are urged to complete simple challenges and share the experience with those closest to them – all while earning points, reaching new levels, and getting support from the Daily Challenge community.
Healthways (HWAY) is the largest independent global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the Company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. We provide highly specific and personalized support for each individual and their team of experts to optimize each participant’s health and productivity and to reduce health-related costs. Results are achieved by addressing longitudinal health risks and care needs of everyone in a given population. The Company has scaled its proprietary technology infrastructure and delivery capabilities developed over 30 years and now serves approximately 45 million people on four continents. Learn more at www.healthways.com.
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Kelly Motley, 615-614-4984