Researchers at CROWD are currently engaged in developing and testing health promotion interventions using the Internet. Topics we have addressed so far include health promotion for women aging with physical disabilities, self-esteem enhancement, weight management, and pelvic health promotion. The self-esteem enhancement and weight management interventions make use of an online virtual world called Second Life (www.Secondlife.com). Materials available from the Self-Esteem in Second Life pilot study include:
- Quick Start Guide to Second Life
- Real-Life Facts about Self-Esteem and Women with Disabilities: Results of an Intervention Pilot Test In the Virtual World of Second Life [PDF file]
- Self-Esteem in Second Life: Final Report to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Executive Summary
Pelvic Health Initiative for Women with Disabilities
Investigators at CROWD are asking (once again!) questions about how women with physical disabilities are able to maintain the best sexual, reproductive, bladder, and bowel health throughout their life span. With funding from a Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Quality of Life grant, CROWD has launched a new project called the Pelvic Health Initiative for Women with Disabilities.
Using the CROWD website as an information platform, we are creating a resource for women with physical disabilities to learn about common problems, solutions, and experiences of other women in managing these problems successfully. Advisory committees of consumers and medical professionals are directing the structure and content of this online resource.
GoWoman Virtual Weight Management Study
Researchers at CROWD, with funding from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, have developed an intervention to help women with physical disabilities lose weight. They adapted and expanded material from the NIH Diabetes Prevention Program, one of the largest scale and most extensively funded weight loss interventions. It is an evidence-based lifestyle program that was developed in the 1990's to address the growing diabetes epidemic.
CROWD’s GoWoman adaptation of this curriculum involves 16 small group sessions held in the virtual world of Second Life. The focus is on achieving weight loss by lowering calorie and fat intake, and increasing physical activity through the use of behavioral strategies. The intervention offers strategies for modifying cooking and eating behaviors and physical activity within the limits of physical disability.