Retrospective evaluation of a pilot eHealth/mHealth telewellness program for people with disabilities: Mindfulness, Exercise, and Nutrition To Optimize Resilience (MENTOR)

Academic Article


  • Background: People with disabilities have few options to participate in wellness programs that are tailored to their health, functional level, specific interests/needs, and available in the comfort of their home. To address this need, we evaluated a mobile health wellness program for people with physical disabilities. Methods: Retrospective pilot evaluation of MENTOR (Mindfulness, Exercise, and Nutrition To Optimize Resilience), an 8-week, 40-hour online telewellness program adapted from the peer reviewed literature on wellness. The three core wellness domains-mindfulness, exercise, and nutrition-were delivered via Zoom to groups of participants with a disability. Each group met weekly with an assigned health coach who responded to Q&A about the program and presented new material on several additional wellness domains that could impact their health (e.g., relationships, contribution to society/community, spending outdoor time in nature). Pre/post measures included the Godin Leisure-Time Exercise Questionnaire (GLTEQ) and the UAB/Lakeshore Wellness Assessment (LWA). Participants were also interviewed and provided feedback after the program, which was thematically analyzed. Results: A total of 154 people from 15 states enrolled in the MENTOR program and 135 completed it (87.7% completers). Data were analyzed from a subset of participants (n=53) who were asked to complete a pre/post assessment and had complete data. Participants who were physically inactive at baseline improved their GLTEQ total activity (P=0.002; effect size =0.56) and moderate-to-vigorous activity scores (P=0.005; effect size =0.53). LWA results demonstrated that participants increased their exercise behavior (P=0.006; effect sizes =0.39) and contribution to society/community (P=0.013; effect size =0.37). Participants with low overall wellness (mental, physical & emotional health) at baseline had statistically significant improvements in exercise, nutrition, sleep, core values, self-care, hobbies, contribution to society/community, relationships, and overall wellness (all P<0.05 with effect sizes ranging from 0.43 to 1.07). Resultant qualitative themes were: (I) lifestyle transformation occurred through new positive experiences, physical and mental health benefits, and adoption of healthy behaviors; and (II) engagement through accessible online bonding through enjoyable and professional experiences. Conclusions: A pilot telewellness program for people with disabilities is feasible and potentially effective in improving several domains of wellness. There is a need for precision-based mobile health (mHealth) programs that are tailored for people with disabilities and that can be accessed from various portable devices including their phone and/or tablet.
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    Author List

  • Rimmer JH; Wilroy J; Galea P; Jeter A; Lai BW
  • Volume

  • 8