Completed Projects

Implementing health coaching within a cooperative extension diabetes education program.

The purpose of this study was to assess the need for a health coaching program for those with diabetes enrolled in a Dining with Diabetes educational program through the University of Delaware’s Cooperative Extension. This study involved four focus groups, each consisting of 6-10 participants.  Questions related to diabetes, the existing cooperative extension diabetes education program, and health coaching were asked.  Focus group sessions were audio recorded and transcribed. Four major themes were identified: 1) advantages and disadvantages of the Dining with Diabetes education program, 2) the lack of ability to personally apply educational material to individual lives, 3) the usefulness of planning or goal-setting, and 4) the request for a health-coaching program for people with diabetes. This study resulted in preliminary suggestions for the development of a Dining with Diabetes group health coaching program with peer one-on-one coaching included in the lessons. Sarah Bercaw, PI – MS Health Promotion, 2015. 

Best possible self imagery: does perspective impact optimism?

Optimism is a general positive expectancy for the future and is linked with psychological well-being. Imagining one’s best possible self (BPS) has been shown to increase optimism. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether perspective used during an acute BPS imagery exercise affected changes in optimism in university students. Participants in the intervention conditions imagined their BPS through field (n=23) or observer perspective (n=20). The control group (n=25) imagined a typical day in their life. Feelings, positive and negative future expectancies, and positive and negative affect were measured immediately before and after the intervention. In comparison to the control condition, BPS participants in both groups (field, observer) saw increased levels of optimism and improvements in feelings and affect. Only one variable significantly differed between the two perspectives. Those imagining their BPS through field perspective saw greater relative increases in positive future expectancies. Regardless of perspective, BPS is an effective strategy to improve optimism and affect. Jillian Jatres, PI – MS Health Promotion, 2015.