Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Women’s empowerment four years after completing a holistic health program

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posted on 2024-05-08, 01:55 authored by Victoria ChinnVictoria Chinn, Jessica Shaw
Purpose: This study explores women’s experience of empowerment four years after completing Next Level Health (NLH), a 6-month holistic health program that worked in partnership with women to develop small health-promoting behaviours across the areas of physical activity, sleep, nutrition, eating behaviour, self-care and stress management. Findings from this study respond to the global agenda for women’s empowerment and lacking evidence regarding holistic health programs designed for women. Methods: Past participants of NLH (n=55) were contacted 4-years post-intervention and invited to participate in the follow-up study. Participants completed a series of questions as either an online survey (Qualtrics) or interview (Zoom) and received a $40.00 NZD voucher of their choosing for their time. The questionnaire included 15 open-ended questions that addressed four topics: health, wellbeing and related behaviours; empowerment over health; evaluation of NLH; and any current barriers/needs regarding their health. Women’s responses were analysed by thematic analysis guided by the research question, “How have women experienced health-related empowerment since completing NLH?”. The survey responses were first reviewed and coded (Nvivo) to identify preliminary themes. The preliminary themes were then further deepened and refined upon reviewing and coding the interview transcripts. This study was approved by the Victoria University of Wellington Human Ethics Committee (#28812). Findings: 44 women participated in the follow up study including 34 survey respondants and 10 interviewees. Three themes emerged regarding women’s experience of empowerment after NLH: Strengthening their support networks, ongoing development of health literacy, and constructing their own definition of health. Conclusions: The resulting themes highlight the importance of women’s active role in designing behavioural goals and applying a holistic health perspective. The findings from this study contribute to a small pool of evidence that reports on the long-term impacts of empowering health programmes for women.


Preferred citation

Chinn, V. & Shaw, J. (2023, June). Women’s empowerment four years after completing a holistic health program.

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