Innovation in Health Programming: College Students Benefit from an Array of Complementary Approaches to Health Framed by the Biopsychosocial-spiritual Model


The American Psychological Association reports that Generation Z are suffering mentally and physically more than any other group.


Measure the effects of a 16-week, online college-level “Complementary Therapies in Health Course” through the lens of the biopsychosocial-spiritual model on measures of health and aspects of well-being in college students.


A mixed method, controlled, repeated measures study delivered in an online synchronous college-level health course. The course curriculum included the science and practice of compassion, happiness, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, service, gratitude, longevity, movement, and more.


42 students 18–23 participated. A significant between subjects cross-over effect demonstrating improvements in the intervention group and deterioration in the control group was found using the Self Compassion Scale (p < .005), Self-Compassion subscale of Judgment (p < .001), Spiritual Well-being Scale (p < .047), and the Pemberton Happiness Index (p < .007). The Self Compassion Scale also revealed a within subjects significant effect (p < .001). Qualitative data revealed improvements in compassion, feelings of happiness, sleep, exercise and health habits, gratitude, mindfulness, spiritual feelings, and more.


Health education predicated on the biopsychosocial-spiritual model is efficacious.

Translation to Health Education Practices

A whole person, complementary health approach to education programming has widespread, positive effects on college students


Below is the link to the full study