Abundant Life Care for the Body, Mind and Spirit Initiative

by Published On: Aug 06, 2007Updated On: Aug 09, 2013

The “Abundant Life Care for the Body, Mind and Spirit” initiative is a quality improvement project developed to encourage whole-person wellness. Our Process Evaluation Report highlights the findings from the initiative.

The fundamental philosophy behind the Abundant Life initiative is that each person is a unity of body, mind and spirit. Integral care for these 3 components can contribute to overall well-being and an enhanced quality of life for an individual.

The initiative began in response to the health care needs of older adults, family, staff and volunteers in an alliance (Caritas Connection) of 16 health and human service organizations serving northeast Ohio. Caritas Connection recognized a need for its providers to adopt wellness as a core business philosophy.

The first phase focused on planning and occurred between March and November of 2004. The initiative was piloted in the second phase, from April 2005 to March 2007.

Caritas Connection contracted with the Institute for the Future of Aging Services (now the Center for Applied Research) to conduct a process evaluation of the Abundant Life Initiative pilot.

Researchers evaluated:

  • If and how participants’ awareness of whole-person wellness increased.
  • How participants perceived the concepts presented in the initiative.
  • The benefits and challenges an organization and its employees face when implementing this initiative.
  • The utility of each of the formal model components. 

Key Findings

 Key findings from the Abundant Life Care for the Body, Mind and Spirit initiative include the following: 

  • The most successful formal component(s) of the initiative were the 3 education modules and the publications that were given as supporting documentation.

  • "Top-down buy-in" was considered to be crucial for successful implementation of the initiative.

  • A frequently mentioned barrier was the difficulty encountered when trying to negotiate participation in this initiative with other time demands.

  • Many participants reported that after approximately 2 years of involvement with this pilot initiative, they had reached a greater understanding and awareness of the inherent connection between the body, the mind and the spirit. They attributed this change in awareness to participation in the Abundant Life Initiative.

  • There was general agreement that the initiative sparked a greater openness to communication among both staff and residents within organizations.

  • Organizations should revisit the formal components of the initiative frequently and investigate areas where improvement is possible. Doing so facilitates sustainability and application of the initiative in different settings.

  • Giving new participants a clear context for the program and a general idea of the formal components may encourage more participation and a greater understanding of the initiative.

  • Organizations should acknowledge from the outset various implementation challenges that participants will encounter. 

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