Using behavior change plans to improve medical student self-care

Robert F Kushner*, Sheila Kessler, William Craig McGaghie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: To describe an innovative approach to teaching medical students the principles and practice of health behavior change and self-care using a behavior change plan (BCP). Method: Second-year medical students at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (n = 343) took a required Healthy Living unit in 2008 or 2009. They completed a BCP project in which they selected a personal behavior to change (exercise, nutrition, sleep, personal habits/hygiene, study/work habits, or mental/emotional health), set a goal, tracked progress, and self-assessed success. The authors employed a one-group posttest-only design to conduct a quantitative analysis and a qualitative evaluation of students' BCPs and their attitudes concerning the project. Results: Among the 343 students, 299 (87.2%) set BCP goals related to exercise, nutrition, or sleep. BCP outcomes varied: 139 students (40.5%) achieved their goal, 170 (49.6%) failed to do so, and 34 (9.9%) were uncertain. Factor analysis produced two independent attitude scales: utility (α = .80) and burden (α = .67). Logistic regression showed that success approached statistical significance only in the sleep behavior category and for the utility attitude scale. Qualitative case reports provide insights about BCP targets, management, and results. After completing the assignment, 274 (79.9%) of the students considered themselves to be healthier, and 281 (81.9%) indicated they would use the process again. Conclusions: Completing a BCP is a valuable and effective exercise that enables medical students to practice the strategies and skills and experience the obstacles of changing health behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-906
Number of pages6
JournalAcademic Medicine
Volume86
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Fingerprint

Self Care
Medical Students
medical student
sleep
Students
Sleep
attitude scale
Health Behavior
Exercise
health behavior
Habits
nutrition
student
work habits
statistical significance
hygiene
Hygiene
Statistical Factor Analysis
habits
factor analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

Cite this

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abstract = "Purpose: To describe an innovative approach to teaching medical students the principles and practice of health behavior change and self-care using a behavior change plan (BCP). Method: Second-year medical students at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (n = 343) took a required Healthy Living unit in 2008 or 2009. They completed a BCP project in which they selected a personal behavior to change (exercise, nutrition, sleep, personal habits/hygiene, study/work habits, or mental/emotional health), set a goal, tracked progress, and self-assessed success. The authors employed a one-group posttest-only design to conduct a quantitative analysis and a qualitative evaluation of students' BCPs and their attitudes concerning the project. Results: Among the 343 students, 299 (87.2{\%}) set BCP goals related to exercise, nutrition, or sleep. BCP outcomes varied: 139 students (40.5{\%}) achieved their goal, 170 (49.6{\%}) failed to do so, and 34 (9.9{\%}) were uncertain. Factor analysis produced two independent attitude scales: utility (α = .80) and burden (α = .67). Logistic regression showed that success approached statistical significance only in the sleep behavior category and for the utility attitude scale. Qualitative case reports provide insights about BCP targets, management, and results. After completing the assignment, 274 (79.9{\%}) of the students considered themselves to be healthier, and 281 (81.9{\%}) indicated they would use the process again. Conclusions: Completing a BCP is a valuable and effective exercise that enables medical students to practice the strategies and skills and experience the obstacles of changing health behavior.",
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Using behavior change plans to improve medical student self-care. / Kushner, Robert F; Kessler, Sheila; McGaghie, William Craig.

In: Academic Medicine, Vol. 86, No. 7, 01.01.2011, p. 901-906.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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