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Pilot Data on CAS Journey to Wellness Guide

The Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies is excited to share preliminary pilot data on its recently released Journey to Wellness Guide.

Journey to Wellness Cover

The Journey to Wellness Guide provides tools for users to create daily action plans for wellness related to connecting, unplugging, sleeping, and doing good. This guide was developed with a participatory approach, co-developed by individuals with lived experience with behavioral health conditions to develop a practical tool for supporting wellness. Initial conceptualization of the tool began in November 2021. Following an iterative process of design, content development, and usability testing, a pilot study of the tool occurred in March and April 2022.

During the pilot study, more than half of the participants who were using the Guide themselves reviewed the Guide at least once each day, with the majority of participants spending 5-10 minutes each time. The participants noted a number of benefits from reviewing the Guide. For example, one participant noted, “The guide was a nice daily reminder to prioritize or at least focus on wellness…. I kept it on my work desk all week where I would see it…., seeing it reminded me of its principles and helped me think about wellness.” Another said, “It reminded me that even doing one new action is good enough. That I don’t have to make it more difficult than it has to be. That I don’t have to pressure myself to do it all now.”

Half of the pilot study participants found the daily actions to be the most useful part of the guide content. Just under 40% indicated that the suggestions for daily actions were what they liked most about the format of the Journey to Wellness Guide.

The benefits and importance of the guide also were clear for participants who were using the guide to support others. One participant noted, “I only wish I had a tool like this to help me early in my road to wellness… I am certain it can and will be a very meaningful and helpful resource as you move forward to implement this in your efforts to help others.” People found in helpful in supporting others because of the simplicity of the guide, and the how actionable the suggestions were. Being self-paced, people felt comfortable moving at their own speed through the guide, and appreciated its emphasis on routine. For those working in behavioral health, addiction, and substance use services, the Journey to Wellness Guide can be a valuable tool to use with others to create structure and action plans for achieving their goals.

Vincent Digioia-Laird and Dr. Peggy Swarbrick presented on the Journey to Wellness Guide at the April 29, 2022, Emerging Addictions Conference. The feedback received was overwhelmingly positive, with participants emphasizing the importance of wellness and self-care for both peer providers and individuals served, anticipating the value of this tool in their own lives and practice. The participants also shared the need to have this tool available in Spanish to expand the reach to broader populations.

Disclaimer: The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies.