• Faith-based motivation for health behavior change: a pilot of the Daniel Plan in a small, rural Alaskan community

      Williams, Anna J. (University of Alaska Anchorage, 2017-05-01)
      Motivating patients to make beneficial lifestyle changes such as improved diet and exercise habits is a challenging but important role for Nurse Practitioners. This project addressed this problem by exploring one promising method for motivating patients, that of faith-based interventions. The Daniel Plan, a previously successful faith-based, six-week small group study was implemented in a small, rural Alaskan community. Data collection included biometric measurements and self-report questionnaires on nutrition and physical activity. All those who completed the study lost weight and improved their diet and exercise habits. Participants reported that the group setting and the spiritual focus were most effective in facilitating their positive changes. These results support previous evidence that faith-based wellness interventions should be considered as a valuable tool for facilitating health behavior changes. They also indicate the importance of incorporating spirituality assessments into the care of patients as a potential way of motivating them to make such changes. More specifically, this project identified that the Daniel Plan was an effective program to recommend to those patients who identify with Biblical teachings.