Finding the Right Motivator for Kate

by | Feb 26, 2019

Author:  Aaron C. Quinn, Ph.D., Chief Clinical Officer and Co-Founder, Album Health

For years, employers have offered incentives as part of their wellness strategy, thinking they would motivate employees to change lifestyle behaviors that support heath optimization.

It turns out that motivating people to achieve long term sustainable change is much more complicated. While cash and gifts cards are great for driving participation in one-time events, such as a biometrics screening, they are not effective in inspiring the long-term lifestyle changes required as part of a condition management program.

We built AlbumHealth’s Emotional Health+ Program leveraging decades of our practice experience observing the psychology of change. We know individuals who are most successful at achieving long-lasting change are self-directed. They stick to their plans because of their internal drive to get healthy.

Our job at AlbumHealth is to help people break down the emotional barriers to behavior change. Our data-driven personalized behavior change platform continuously assesses the participant’s engagement to identify behaviors that indicate when adherence is declining. We then use this data to reach out with the appropriate intervention to re-engage participants.  Kate’s journey provides an authentic illustration of how this works.

Kate’s Journey

When Kate enrolled in AlbumHealth’s Emotional Health+ Program, her goal was merely to qualify for her employer’s financial wellness incentive. She was 29, obese, and had an elevated stress level.  Kate was assigned an AlbumHealth Coach to support her participation.

While Kate did interact with AlbumHealth’s mobile app, she was not at all happy that her personalized behavior plan included speaking with an AlbumHealth Coach. She wanted to do as little as possible to earn her incentive and was highly resistant to one-on-one conversations. Kate’s mobile app data inputs were analyzed by EASE ™, identifying low satisfaction with the program.

Kate’s AlbumHealth Coach knew she had to find a way to connect and build trust.  She acknowledged Kate’s frustration and used motivational interviewing to develop a positive relationship. Together, they chose small, easily attainable goals that created a sense of accomplishment.

Kate satisfaction with AlbumHealth grew as her resistance declined. She started meditating, something she had never tried before, discovering this helped manage work-related stress.  With encouragement, Kate finally made an appointment with her primary care physician. She was diagnosed with high blood pressure and placed on medication.

Kate hated being on medication and worked with her AlbumHealth Coach to come up with a strategy that would lower her blood pressure naturally. She began walking at lunch and eating healthier foods.

After four months, Kate had lost 18 pounds, a clinically significant improvement. Her blood pressure was consistently normal without medication and her stress level measurably reduced. Kate’s satisfaction with AlbumHealth’s program improved from an initial 30% to 89%.

Kate’s story underscores the impact of participant satisfaction as a precursor to positive behavior change. By identifying her specific barriers to change, and using that information to intervene accordingly, Kate got healthier and happier.

We are resolute in our mission to drive satisfaction into behavior change strategies for our participants. To learn more about how AlbumHealth’s innovative approach can help your employees finally achieve better health, click here.