Ruby R Gad
Imperial College London, UK
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Gen Practice
Background: In the current climate of obesity and its numerous associated risks, healthy lifestyle interventions are becoming increasingly relevant. The Can Do Community Program is an example of a resident-led, healthy lifestyle intervention to attain public health outcomes. The program provides organizational and financial support to individuals with a community project idea targeting healthy nutrition or physical activity. Healthy lifestyle and mental wellbeing are inextricably linked such that changes in one routinely reflect changes in the other. There is growing evidence that wellbeing correlates with increased life expectancy, as well as primary and secondary prevention of illness, both physical and mental. The objective of this study is to explore community healthy lifestyle interventions by assessing the impact of the Can Do Community Program 2015-16 on mental wellbeing. Methodology: The Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS), validated for monitoring population wellbeing, was utilised. The minimum and maximum scores of the scale are 7 and 35 respectively. It was administered, alongside a demographic capture questionnaire, to Can Do project participants at baseline and at follow-up. All responses received were subject to pre-specified inclusion and exclusion criteria. Findings: In total, 90 responses were used in the data analysis. Overall, the mean population SWEMWBS score increased from 23.9 (baseline) to 26 (follow-up). This increase was statistically significant, p<0.001, and remained true when the data was stratified by age group as well as by gender. Conclusions: The findings suggest that the Can Do Community Program was successful in improving mental wellbeing. It is a commendable example of a healthy lifestyle intervention. This study offers a valuable insight into the measure of wellbeing. Moreover, it highlights the benefits of a grassroots, community approach to improving nutrition and physical activity.
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