CP8 - Virtual Health and Wellness Program for Elementary Students
Poster Type: Innovation
Primary Funding Source: A.T. Still University
Category: A. T. Still University; Patient and Community Engagement; Social Determinants of Health
Issue or Challenge: The COVID-19 pandemic presented many challenges, and one faced by adolescents was distance learning. A needs assessment, conducted with Family HealthCare Network (FHCN) in Tulare County, identified the need for supportive services for adolescents. An open forum held with the FQHC in September 2020 demonstrated the mental health problems experienced by students during distance learning, such as increased anxiety and feelings of isolation. This project’s goal was to evaluate the success of a virtual wellness program designed to support the mental welfare of children as they navigate online learning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Description of Innovation: A needs assessment was completed in the community through FHCN, a Federally Funded Health Center, and it was identified that adolescent mental health, in the face of online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was a challenge that had yet to be addressed. We formed a partnership with a local elementary school and gained their support for this project. We chose five health and wellness topics that would encourage children to be active and to engage in wellness activities outside of their classroom work: aerobic exercise, guided meditation, yoga, origami, and nutrition. Utilizing professional filming and editing, we filmed 5 videos on these topics. The videos were designed to be engaging and applicable but also educational for children. Over the course of 5 weeks, we released 5 wellness-based videos through the school that were distributed to students, with attached surveys for feedback on these videos. Students were encouraged to participate with a raffle where students could win prizes that were related to the wellness videos and survey completion. Videos will also be made permanently available to students through the school’s own Google Classroom.
Impact or Result: Data collection is ongoing, but videos released thus far were met with positive reception. From 2/25/21-3/25/21, 4 videos were released, which have collectively received 136 views. These videos require direct links to view, so the 136 views were solely completed by students at the participating school. Following the project’s completion, the school will make all 5 videos available to students through Google Classroom. Feedback received via the 31 surveys received thus far has been positive. Several students praised how the videos taught them beneficial calming techniques, and others liked the high engagement level. Complaints addressed video length, demonstration clarity, and small editing recommendations. One video has yet to be released. All video surveys will be open until 4/15/21. Overall, this project has received positive feedback from students, and will hopefully improve students’ wellbeing and enhance the health of the community.
Replicating this Innovation: This innovation can be replicated in other organizations and would be beneficial due to its emphasis on adolescent health which will hopefully influence the overall health of the community. Strategic partnerships with organizations that serve the community en masse, like FHCN in this project, and nearby schools may be beneficial to extending the program’s reach. Modifications can be made to the type of wellness content depending on the specific community, organizational, or adolescent needs.
Aaron Lai, A.T. Still University, School of Osteopathic Medicine at Arizona
Sayeh Akhavan, A.T. Still University, School of Osteopathic Medicine at Arizona