PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology


Creating a scientific evidence-based integrative health program to successfully reach teenagers and their families in low-income communities

Andrew Pleasant  

This presentation will detail the formative research process, scientific literature review outcomes, conclusions and recommendations that underpin a process to create and implement an evidence-based program to improve the health and well-being of teenagers and their families living in low-income communities in the United States. The Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program for Teens is being piloted in two communities - the results of those pilot program efforts will be available and shared for this presentation. The program draws on a successful history of the Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program that targets solely adults, but has been translated and adapted to address the health and wellness issues not only of teenagers (13-18 years old) but also their parents and caregivers. Topics include human relationships and sexuality, oral health, healthy cooking demonstrations, physical activity, goal setting, finding joy in your life, etc. Each session is led by a qualified health care professional who has experienced a unique training program created just for this program. The training focuses on healthcare professional's speaking skills, health literacy skills, and ability to carefully and accurately convey an evidence-based message about health and well-being in an understandable and effective manner. The health care professionals that make up the core team that gives the program at each site includes an integrative health specialist, teen health specialist, nutritionist, exercise physiologist, behavioral health professional, oral health specialist, and a spirituality professional. The Canyon Ranch Institute Life Enhancement Program for teens is an evidence-based program that demonstrates how scientific knowledge can be turned into action and informed behavior change for participants - health literacy in action.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.