From the beginning, we set out to create an effective nutrition behavior change intervention that is better than anything else on the web. We wanted to do something more than just give WIC clients nutrition information and ask questions about what they remembered or "learned." We wanted to build upon sound behavioral theories and best practice evidence. We wanted to create an educational experience that revolved around the client and provided an engaging level of site interaction.
wichealth.org is based on a solid foundation that has been demonstrated to impact client beliefs and behavior change. It is this foundation that makes wichealth.org unique in comparison to any other web-based solution currently available for WIC clinics.
We're firm believers that in order for any approach to be both meaningful and effective, it needs to be tailorable. That may mean stage specific issues or language preference or how the client interacts with the system. We built wichealth.org to meld in with your state approach to client nutrition education, not the other way around.
Unique to wichealth.org is our smart-system technology that works it's magic behind the scenes to help us deliver to clients what is most likely to assist them in changing their behaviors. This patent-pending feature analyzes a host of client usage patterns and learns from other clients with similar characteristics and the processes they engaged in to achieve behavior change success. After all, it's really about what the clients need based on where they are in their lives, not what the education program needs to justify its existence.
wichealth.org is steeped in behavioral models and theories. From the beginning, the eHealth Behavior Management Model has been the underpinning blood that courses through wichealth.org's veins. Our approach relies on numerous constructs associated with stages of change, health belief model, theory of planned behavior, COM-B, persuasive communication, emotion-based messaging, motivational interviewing, and division of responsibility. These constructs are infused within the underlying algorithms that drive the client experience, resulting in an increase likelihood of effective behavior change.
Any solid idea needs to start with a vision. And the underlying vision behind wichealth.org is that we can improve lives by changing behavior. This central concept is the glue that holds together every decision made about how best to meet client needs
through our education approach. We're not here to teach clients about nutritional eating,
we believe in helping them in their journey to live with nutritional eating.
Need more evidence?
The eHealth Behavior Management Model, the foundation beneath wichealth.org, was published as a special public health topic in a 2004 issue of CDC’s peer reviewed journal, Preventing Chronic Disease.
With the majority of wichealth lesson completions now being from a mobile device, an exploration of the difference in engagement based on mobile versus fixed device use drove the 2016 rebuild of the site with mobile first in mind.
A three-year USDA special projects research project comparing the impact of wichealth.org versus traditional WIC clinic education on fruit and vegetable consumption published in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. WIC clients who selected wichealth.org experienced significant increases in consumption compared those who selected to receive more traditional education approaches.
Built upon five key principles to online, nutrition related, behavior change interventions as outlined in a 2010 American Journal of Health Behavior article by the wichealth.org founders. These principles are to (1) recreate the human experience, (2) personalize to the individual, (3) create a dynamic experience, (4) provide a supportive environment, and (5) build upon sound theory.
The Institute of Medicine's 2010 Planning a WIC Research Agenda identified technology approaches, based on results in part associated with wichealth.org, as a viable means for delivering low cost education to WIC clients.
A 2006 Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior research article examined the usefulness and impact on behavioral beliefs and stage of change associated with eight WIC client nutrition issues. Results showed that the wichealth.org approach to online nutrition education is a highly popular and viable method for impacting movement in stage of change with a number of parent-child feeding issues.
Received a Merit Award from the Health Information Resource Center sponsored Health Web Awards competition.